Premier League - Norwich refuse Lambert resignation

Thu, 31 May 14:44:00 2012

Norwich City have confirmed manager Paul Lambert has offered his resignation, but the Premier League club have not accepted it.

2010-11 Championship Norwich City manager Paul Lambert - 0

Lambert is the target of interest from Aston Villa, who are searching for a new manager having sacked Alex McLeish at the end of the season.

Talks are taking place between the two clubs and, for now, Norwich say they will not accept Lambert's resignation.

"The club regrets to confirm that Paul Lambert has offered his resignation from his position as Norwich City manager," read a club statement.

"We have fought hard to keep Paul at Norwich City and have not accepted his resignation whilst discussions with another club are taking place.

"However, whatever happens, we want to place on record our sincere gratitude for everything Paul has done for the club over the last three fantastic seasons."

The Sun reported Lambert had resigned late on Wednesday following a bust-up with Carrow Road chiefs.

The Scot has emerged as Villa's first choice to replace McLeish, having guided Norwich to successive promotions followed by an impressive 12th-place finish in the Premier League.

Last week, Lambert distanced himself from reports linking him with Villa.

He said: "I have got a really great rapport with the fans here as everybody knows and it's a special thing I think with the fans and myself.

"Never once have I not felt wanted here. Three years I've been here, the rapport I have with the fans is really special and a unique thing to get, and I love it here, I do."

In 2011, Norwich refused Burnley permission to speak to Lambert after they sacked Brian Laws.

Villa only avoided relegation from the Premier League by two points and had significantly to reduce their wage bill after debts of more than £50 million for the year ending May 2011.

Villa owner Randy Lerner is hoping it will be a case of third time lucky in terms of replacing McLeish.

He held talks with former Manchester United star Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but he opted to stay at Molde in Norway for family reasons - although he was not formally offered the Villa post.

Villa also spoke with advisers of Wigan boss Roberto Martinez, who had initially rejected the chance to replace Gerard Houllier 12 months ago.

But Latics boss Dave Whelan has claimed that Martinez, who held talks with Liverpool, is staying put.

Lambert's debt to Germany

Eurosport / PA Sport

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