Norwich City: Could Grant Holt end up at Sunderland, Everton or Newcastle?
Norwich City fans were rocked on Friday night to learn that star striker Grant Holt had submitted a written transfer request. Quite why he would commit such an act remains a mystery, as Holt and Norwich seemed to be a perfect fit. But unless Holt can be convinced his future is at Carrow Road the chances are the big man will be off in the next few weeks.
But where would he go?
There will be no shortage of demand in the 31-year-old. He took the Premier League by storm last season and was the second highest Englishman in the division, although that still wasn't enough to convince the new England boss Roy Hodgson to take a gamble on him. Whether that was in his thinking for wanting to leave one can only wonder.
Holt may not be the quickest on the ground, but like Teddy Sheringham before him, he uses his speed of thought to great affect. He's good in the air, got a great touch and can bring players in to the game, but more importantly the man's a finisher.
Sunderland are apparently leading the race for his signature. The bookies currently have Holt at Evens to be joining the Black Cats in the summer. Martin O'Neil loves a big man up front, Heskey, Hartson and Sutton spring to mind, and the Wearsiders clearly need fresh legs.
Aston Villa, who are also being linked with manager Paul Lambert, are 7/2 to snare Holt. Aston Villa, like Sunderland, clearly need reinforcements following their awful season, but considering nobody knows who will take over from McLeish yet, why would anyone put money on this? Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reportedly made a good impression on Randy Lerner. Would he be tempted by Holt?
Spurs are 8/1 at Sky Bet and Harry Redknapp will be linked with everyone between now and the transfer window slamming shut. The Tottenham chief does have a history of taking players the other side of 30 and making them shine again. Holt, who has played in every single division in the English game, would relish the chance to prove himself in Europe and possibly squeeze into Hodgson's World Cup squad for 2014. There's not too many players who would turn down Spurs, but would the fans see this as a great addition?
Everton are next in the list. David Moyes loves a bargain and Holt's abrasive style would suit him down to the ground. There's no airs and graces where Holt is concerned. He gets on the pitch, gets stuck in and more often than not sticks the ball in the back of the net. Holt and Jelavic, with Cahill, Fellaini and possibly Pienaar behind him would be a lethal combination.
Fulham are another club linked with Holt. Martin Jol is bracing himself for the possible departure of Clint Dempsey and his goals would have to be replaced. Grant Holt would go someway to doing that. The striker is a war horse and would give the Cottagers an extra dimension to their play. At 10/1, Fulham, and the bright lights of London, could well turn his head.
What about Newcastle? Alan Pardew has worked wonders in the transfer market with the additions of Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse, but Ba has been really quiet since Cisse arrived and there are fears that he could leave for a new challenge. Pardew, who will have to cope with the demands of European football this season, could be interested in Holt as the Mags need to increase the size and quality of their squad. Holt was born in Carlisle and might fancy a return back up north. Norwich City's Player of the Year would certainly take the burden off Cisse. Holt to Newcastle is also 10/1.
And finally there's Swansea City. Brendan Rodgers loves a bargain and picking players specifically to play in his team. Could Holt work his way into that team? Definitely. He would certainly share the burden with Danny Graham up top for goals and would thrive on the service by Sinclair and Allen. The Swans were impressive this season but other sides may have worked them out. The addition of Holt would certainly keep the opposition up the toes.
Of course, call me a cynic by all means, but Holt could be doing this to improve his terms at the club. He wouldn't be the first and he wouldn't be the last. However, how big a blow would it be for the Canaries to lose him?
Calling all Norwich fans. How much does Grant Holt mean to the Canaries? Would you give him a bumper deal to keep him or do you think you should cash in on him and snap up a younger model? Whatever your view we'd love to hear from you.