Robert Snodgrass has left Leeds United’s training camp after being given permission to speak to an unnamed Premier League club, believed to be Norwich City.
Canaries manager Chris Hughton revealed on Tuesday night that the Championship club had rejected an approach for the Scot last week.
But Whites manager Neil Warnock said yesterday morning that Snodgrass had been allowed to leave the training base in Cornwall to discuss terms with another club, who he did not name.
He said: “Negotiations have been going on for weeks.
“I was hoping he would have had a change of heart and I can honestly say that in all my time in football, I’ve never worked as hard in trying to keep a player.
“He was offered the best contract, the captaincy, and we would have built a team around him so I am very disappointed.
“He’s made it clear what he wants to do and he’s had his head turned. He wants to play in the Premier League. He believes his Scotland international career may be better served in the Premier League, but I’m not so sure.”
Warnock is expected to complete the signing of Portsmouth midfielder David Norris today, after the 31-year-old seemingly rejected the chance to move to rivals Sheffield Wednesday.
Norris will be the fourth player to join Leeds from relegated Portsmouth if the deal goes through.
Regarding the proposed takeover of the club and it’s impact on keeping Snodgrass at Elland Road, Warnock added: “The club is in the process of due diligence and there’s not a lot concrete we can say to him.
“He’s seen and heard a lot of things over the past few years. But I am still disappointed. Very disappointed. Life moves on, though.”
Following a friendly win at Celtic on Tuesday night, City chief Hughton said: “We did put a bid in for (Snodgrass) a week or so ago and that is where we are at.
“He is a player we would like, hence the reason we made the bid, but, of course, he is a Leeds United player and until we are told otherwise that will be the case.”
Snodgrass replaced Andy Lonergan as club captain following Warnock’s appointment in February, and won both Leeds fans’ player-of-the-year and players’ player-of-the-year awards for the 2011-12 season.
Warnock added: “He’s always said he wants to play in the Premier League, although I’m not sure it’s a great move because I think another year would have suited him.
“But he’s in the last year of his contract and players are in charge of the situation at that stage.
“The fans know that I’m doing everything I can and we have to make sure we cover the loss of Rob. We do need a couple of quality signings and we’re talking to a number of prospects at the moment.
“Unfortunately, you can’t keep a player if he wants to go. You can do your best, but your hands are tied sometimes, and we’ve tried every way we can to get him to stay, but in the end it wasn’t possible.”
The Scotland international joined Leeds from Livingston in 2008, making 168 league appearances and scoring 41 goals in all competitions.
Former England Under-21 international Jonny Howson joined Norwich from Leeds in January on a three-and-a-half-year contract for around £2m.
Another of Snodgrass’s former Leeds team-mates, Bradley Johnson, was unable to agree a new contract with the club and signed a three-year deal with Norwich in July last year on a free.
Sunderland defender Michael Turner also underwent a medical at Carrow Road yesterday after the two clubs agreed terms on a deal.
Turner, who arrived at Sunderland from Hull in the summer of 2009, appears to be on the way out following the capture of free agent Carlos Cuellar and Titus Bramble’s return to contention.
Steve Bruce snapped up Turner for what looked like a bargain £4m with the defender having at one point played himself on to the fringes of the England squad. He made 32 appearances during his first season but injuries and new arrivals limited his involvement.