Wolverhampton Wanderers are making plans for life without midfielder Seyi Olofinjana after the Nigeria international told the club he wanted to leave.
The 28-year-old activated a clause in his contract that stated the club would allow him to be sold if they missed out on promotion to the Barclays Premier League last season.
Olofinjana signed a new four-year contract last October with the clause included and Wolves chief executive Jez Moxey said on Monday that the club had no option but to accept his request.
“At the time of signing a new contract with Seyi last year, we agreed that, should the club miss out on promotion at the end of the 2007/08 season, we would circulate his name for transfer if that is what he wished,” he explained.
“As expected, Seyi has made that request and we are therefore following through on our commitment and he has been placed on the transfer list.
“As an experienced senior international player who has not only served Wolves well but re-signed instead of holding out to become a free agent this summer, he has given us the opportunity of recouping our financial investment in him to help buy new players.”
Olofinjana was signed from Norwegian club Brann Bergen for £1.7 million by Dave Jones in July 2004 but Wolves will be looking for around £3 million for the player. Wigan Athletic manager Steve Bruce was a known admirer of Olofinjana when he was boss at Birmingham City, and he may renew his interest.
Olofinjana’s request may be a blow for Wolves boss Mick McCarthy but he will now step up his efforts to bring in an experienced replacement with Celtic’s Thomas Gravesen said to be interesting Wanderers.
Olofinjana submitted his written transfer request last Friday, the same day as he was quoted on the club’s website as saying his goals were to get promotion with Wanderers and get to the 2010 World Cup finals with his country.
“Getting Wolves into the Premier League is the short term goal and getting to the World Cup finals in South Africa in 2010 with Nigeria is another, and both are realistic,” he said.
Meanwhile, Coventry City manager Chris Coleman has reiterated his interest in Wolves striker Freddy Eastwood.
Coleman had tried to sign the transfer-listed Wales international on loan during the transfer window but the plug was pulled on the deal by McCarthy at the last minute.
However, Coleman has admitted he would like to bring the 24-year-old to the Ricoh Arena.
“A striker is my priority now, and I would be a hypocrite if I said Freddy wasn’t in our sights any more,” Coleman said. “Just because it didn’t work out when we tried to sign him last season doesn’t mean I don’t still think he a good player.
“He is No.9 for his country and is a player I like. Whether or not we can take it further and do a deal with his club, I don’t know. We struggled to do it last season, but who knows? But he is still a player I like.”