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Villa after a 'number 10' but Hughton unaware of Hoolahan interest

Paul Lambert says he is lacking a ‘specialist attacking midfielder’ and the Dubliner could be just what he needs.

Hoolahan is chased by Liverpool's Joe Allen.
Hoolahan is chased by Liverpool's Joe Allen.
Image: Clint Hughes/AP/Press Association Images

ASTON VILLA MANAGER Paul Lambert has admitted that he is in the market for an attacking midfielder but wouldn’t go as far as to confirm that Wes Hoolahan is on his January wishlist.

Villa, who lost out to Sheffield United in the FA Cup third round on Saturday, are in need reinforcements and are rumoured to have had a £1.5million bid for the Ireland international turned down.

Hoolahan has been in and out of the Norwich team this season and the opportunity to work under Lambert again could interest him.

And speaking to Eastern Daily Press, Lambert said that those type of players are hard to come by.

“We don’t have a specialist attacking midfielder – I call them number 10s,” Lambert said.

“Players who are prepared to take a chance and take risks are important. If you can get somebody like that in your side, they can make things happen.

We don’t have that special type of player who knows how to get into little pockets on the pitch and create chances.

“They’re worth their weight in gold if you can get them – and pretty dear!”

When asked about Hoolahan, however, he added: “It’s not fair to talk about other team’s players.”

“I don’t think that’s right. He’s a Norwich player and like any player we go for, I don’t think it’s right to comment.”

Hoolahan’s absence from the matchday squad for Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Fulham at Carrow Road saw Canaries boss Hughton questioned about the 31-year-old’s future.

But Hughton insisted he missed the Fulham game due to an injury, although he refused to offer specific details.

“Wes reported an injury (on Friday),” said the Norwich boss. “At this moment he is having treatment. It is nothing to do with (him) being linked to other clubs.

“Has there been a bid? Not that I am aware of, absolutely not. At the moment it is a hypothetical situation that you are asking me about.

We had nine senior players not involved (against Fulham) and my biggest concern is getting those back and bringing new ones in. It is not our intention to lose players.

“There is no news to report in or out. We are working, the same as most teams, and anything we have to tell you we will.”

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