Norwich resigned to loss of Lambert


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The Independent Football

Norwich City finally conceded defeat in their battle with Paul Lambert yesterday and are ready to begin the search for his replacement.

Talks between they and Aston Villa about the compensation Villa will pay are ongoing, and City chief executive David McNally has now admitted Norwich need a new manager.

The move is a huge blow for City after three seasons of incredible success and, on a disappointing day, captain and top scorer Grant Holt reaffirmed his desire to quit Carrow Road.

Lambert himself resigned on Thursday and told the Norwich board of his desire to leave. The move was initially blocked but the Scot stood firm and talks between Villa and Norwich have now gone on for two days in a bid to settle a compensation fee.

Neil Lennon, Malky Mackay and Steve Bruce are so far the frontrunners to replace Lambert when he is eventually allowed to leave and McNally revealed: "We are looking for a new manager. That's likely to be what we concentrate on for the next few days, few weeks maybe.

"We were in a situation where we were approached by another club, asking permission to speak to Paul Lambert. We didn't grant permission. We were very clear we wanted to keep him.

"When it was indicated by our manager that he would like the opportunity to speak to this particular club, really the dynamics changed and so it's then about talking to them about compensation, agreeing compensation and agreeing with them a time frame, and we're still in that process.

"I've seen it reported today that we've contacted both their [Lennon's and Mackay's] particular clubs about their managers. We haven't and I'd like to put that on record.

"If we were interested in talking to them about Neil, because he's a great manager, we'd go straight to them quietly and privately."

Sorting out Holt's situation is another problem for any new manager. The striker was put on the transfer list last week and stressed, via Twitter, that his intention was still to leave.

"I have loved my three years at the club and it sadness [sic] me to write this but want use [sic] to here [sic] it from me first," he wrote.

"Just to stop the rumour mill again. I have expressed to the board and the CEO that I want to leave due to disagreements. The rumours about me and the gaffer falling out are wrong so no more tweets about that please."

McNally, however, reiterated Holtwould not be allowed to leave. "He's not for sale," McNally said.