Norwich reject Holt's surprise transfer request

Leading scorer appears to be unsettled by speculation over manager Lambert's future

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The Independent Football

Norwich City yesterday rejected a transfer request from their leading striker Grant Holt. The 31-year-old enjoyed a superb first season in the Premier League with the Canaries, where he won the club's player of the year award for the third successive season and impressed so much that there had been suggestions of an England call-up.

However, he was not named in Roy Hodgson's squad for Euro 2012 and yesterday he dropped a bombshell at Carrow Road. The striker has become a fans' favourite at the club since joining from Shrewsbury for a reported fee of £400,000 in July 2009.

Holt helped the East Anglian side to the League One title in his first season at the club, scoring 30 goals in 44 appearances. He continued to score regularly in the Championship and helped Paul Lambert's side secure back-to-back promotions, earning them a place in the Premier League after a six-year absence.

Holt's performances saw him rewarded with a new three-year deal at Carrow Road ahead of the 2011-12 season, in which he shone and contributed with 17 goals. However, the striker has now handed in a transfer request and could be set for a move.

The news follows speculation linking manager Lambert with a move away from the club. The Scot is considered one of the brightest managerial talents in the country and has been linked with Aston Villa and Liverpool, although the former club were yesterday talking to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Poland goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, meanwhile, has said that he wants to leave Arsenal after months of watching his compatriot Wojciech Szczesny from the bench, according to a Polish newspaper.

"I hope that my adventure with Arsenal has come to an end," Fabianski told the Gazeta Wyborcza. "I intend to leave and play in a strong league. I wanted to leave in the winter, too, but [the Arsenal manager] Arsène Wenger did not give a green light." Fabianski, who has 20 caps, was named the Polish league's top goalkeeper in 2006 and 2007, during his time with Legia Warsaw. He joined Arsenal five years ago but has not been able to secure his position due to injuries and some conspicuous errors.

The Poland coach, Franciszek Smuda, has called him up to the provisional 26-man squad for Euro 2012, which will be co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine, starting next month, but he is expected to play second fiddle to Szczesny again.

Bolton Wanderers have reacted to relegation by releasing 11 out-of-contract players. Nigel Reo-Coker has activated a release clause in his deal. The players include Croatia striker Ivan Klasnic and former Jamaica international Ricardo Gardner. Others include Gretar Steinsson, Sean Davis and Paul Robinson.