Norwich City chief David McNally says there was little chance of Aston Villa target Wes Hoolahan leaving last month.

The Canaries' chief executive admitted yesterday none of the three criteria set by the club was met.

"Things happen in football, we all know that, and players have their heads turned. That was my reading of that particular situation," McNally told the Pink 'Un. "We made it clear to Wes that he was in our plans for this year and the future. Ironically he had played in three of the previous four games.

"That said, in football you can be given an offer you cannot refuse and if that is the case then you don't refuse it. That would have been the second element of the matter we would have had to consider and the final element would have been trying to get a replacement because he is a unique footballer in that number 10 position and they are difficult to find. They were huge hurdles to overcome and I always felt there was less than 1pc chance of him leaving."