Canary chief executive David McNally was today obliged to take to the Twitter airwaves to deny that West Ham United were chasing Grant Holt’s services.
With Paul Lambert’s exit to Aston Villa officially confirmed by the Midlands’ club yesterday, attention returned to Holt’s intentions this summer with his talkative agent – Lee Payne – insisting that his star client still wanted away.
The ‘disagreements’ mentioned by Holt on his own Twitter account now centring on the fact that club were – apparently – unwilling to add a further, third year to his existing Carrow Road contract which still has a full, two years to run.
For his part McNally has been at pains to stress that the three-time Player of the Season is not for sale – end of.
“Just for the record, we have not received a £4m bid for Grant from West Ham as apparently is being suggested,” McNally told his 10,000-plus Canary followers this lunchtime – a line that was repeated on an updated SkySportsNews story.
If nothing else, this summer’s comings and goings are proving that Twitter is fast proving the news medium of choice for those at the centre of the storms.
Relations between club and player – or rather his agent – are unlikely to have been improved by Payne’s latest outing on BBC Radio Norfolk in which he claimed all Holt seeks is another year on his deal but ran into stiff opposition.
“I don’t think anyone could say that Grant hasn’t probably achieved more than anyone could have expected of him this season,” said his Mr Ten Per Cent. The fact that other players were spoken to ahead of his client didn’t help his mood; nor did the reaction to the quest for that third year to take him through to 2015.
“David bluntly turned around and said ‘You’re too old, so forget a third year!’,” claimed Payne.
“He has got two years left on his contract and all he really wanted – before he even spoke about money – was a third year. But when you’ve now been batted off for two to three months and then you’re told you’re too old for a third year, bells start ringing don’t they?”
As ever, there is all sorts of double-speak going on; in the simple act of seeking a third year, you are talking about money – unless of course Payne was offering his client’s services for free in his last year.
That said, given both his age and his achievements this term Holt and his representative know that he is at the peak of his earning potential this summer; on the back of those 15 Premier League goals and the manner in which he gave big name defender after big name defender a torrid time, so his value will have soared.
Time to cash those performance chips in – either via an even bigger and better Carrow Road deal or else to seek such improved fortune elsewhere.
Smart money would have Holt figuring large on Lambert’s summer shopping list at Villa Park.
The Birmingham Mail were already posing that very question to their readers this weekend, whilst confirming that not every last detail of the compensation package had yet been agreed with the Canaries.
Whether that ‘conversation’ runs and runs is something most people would be keen to avoid; there is an element now of nipping both the Lambert and Holt episodes in the bud as quickly as possible and moving swiftly on.
Clear the decks and go again.