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Norwich City to Aston Villa: Keep your Hoola-hands off our player

What did we ever do to you, Norwich City? Oh yeah, we took your manager and highly-touted young keeper. Carry on.

Jamie McDonald

Paul Lambert still has a strong urge to reunite with Norwich City midfielder Wes Hoolahan, but apparently the Canaries are loathe to deal with Aston Villa. Which, let's be honest, is pretty understandable. And this goes against my gut reaction ("Screw them! Give us what we want! You're not our Tottenham, you can't tell us what to do!"), but in the past two years Aston Villa have stolen the most successful manager in their club's history and their prized up-and-coming goalkeeping prospect.

So yeah, there is a legitimate reason for Norwich City to not like dealing with Paul Lambert and Aston Villa. Despite the fact that the claret and blue have made an offer for Hoolahan, they are no closer to bringing the midfielder to Birmingham. Lambert has held to his position that he won't comment on the Hoolahan situation, but given everything we've seen, this is a deal that is being held up by Norwich City.

I said it on the podcast yesterday, but I think Hoolahan would be a valuable player for Aston Villa. Unlike Grant Holt, he hasn't shown too many signs of being on the wrong side of his career. He's still a fairly consistent passer, and he's got the ability to fill a sort of Stiliyan Petrov role. There is an inevitable point - I think - at which Norwich City would sell Hoolahan, but it may well be that the point is beyond what Aston Villa are willing to spend (or what they should spend, for that matter).

So don't expect to see Hoolahan taking his picture with the Villa kit any time soon. I'm not sure this one will ever play out.