In Brief: West Ham bid for Grant Holt; Dirk Kuyt exit 'not Brendan Rodgers' fault'; Rafael Van der Vaart wants to stay

 

West Ham bid £4m for Norwich's Holt

When Grant Holt was part of the Shrewsbury Town team beaten by Gillingham in the League Two play-off final in 2009 he can hardly imagine that three years later there would be a Premier League tug-of-war for his services.

Holt was 28 then and an up-and-down career looked destined to remain conducted in the game's shadows. Instead he finds himself the subject of a reported £4m bid from West Ham United, probable interest from Aston Villa, and with his current club Norwich City still reluctant to let him go.

There may yet be other suitors for a player who has scored 80 league goals in the last four seasons, spending one campaign in each tier of the English game. Fifteen came last season, his first in the top flight.

Despite this, Norwich, according to Holt's agent Lee Payne, told him he was "too old" for an extended contract. Payne claimed City's chief executive, David McNally, said: "You're too old so forget a third year". Payne added: "We felt we had to speak up because I've seen a lot of comments from fans giving Grant absolute pelters and it's just not fair.

"Grant loves the club and the fans have got to ask themselves: why has Paul Lambert left? Why does Grant Holt want to leave? He [Holt] has got two years left on his contract and all he really wanted – before he even spoke about money – was a third year. He wanted to finish his career at Norwich."

McNally last week said: "We have not had an argument or row with any player, including Grant."

The West Ham manager, Sam Allardyce, has never shied away from fielding older players and will believe Holt can play a similar role for the Hammers as Kevin Davies did for him at Bolton. West Ham are also expected to move for 37-year-old Jussi Jaaskelainen, who has left Bolton after 15 years, as a replacement for Rob Green who has rejected the offer of a new contract.

Allardyce may face competition for Holt from Villa who on Saturday confirmed Lambert, who resigned last week from Norwich, as their new manager, despite an ongoing dispute over whether compensation is due.

Kuyt exit 'not Rodgers' fault'

Dirk Kuyt has insisted the appointment of Brendan Rodgers as Liverpool manager had nothing to do with his decision to join Fenerbahce. The Dutch striker has signed a three-year contract with the Turkish club. "After six years I am ready for a new challenge," Kuyt said. "[The club and supporters] I will always carry in my heart. The new coach has nothing to do with it."

Van der Vaart wants to stay at Spurs

Rafael van der Vaart admits a move to the German club Schalke is a possibility, but insists he wants to stay at Tottenham Hotspur.

The 29-year-old has been linked with a return to Germany, where his wife still works. Asked about the prospect of joining Schalke, the Dutchman said: "I don't know. Actually, I want to stay at Tottenham. But, in football, you never know."

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