Paul Lambert has offered his resignation as Norwich manager but the club has revealed in a statement that they have not accepted it.
Norwich confirmed Lambert, who has been strongly linked with the vacant manager's post at Aston Villa, wanted to leave.
A statement read: "The club regrets to confirm that Paul Lambert has offered his resignation from his position as Norwich City manager. We have fought hard to keep Paul at Norwich and have not accepted his resignation whilst discussions with another club are taking place."
It continued: "However, whatever happens, we want to place on record our sincere gratitude for everything Paul has done for the club over the last three fantastic seasons."
Lambert, 42, took the Canaries up from npower League One after being brought in from Colchester in August 2009, and then immediately on into the Barclays Premier League, where they finished a creditable 12th place.
However, once Villa dispensed with the services of Alex McLeish after a disappointing campaign, the former Celtic and Borussia Dortmund midfielder was high on their wanted list.
It is understood Villa made an official approach to Norwich on Wednesday to talk to Lambert. There had been reports of a fall-out over the denial of that opportunity. However, in a carefully worded statement, Norwich appeared to play those rumours down.
"Discussions with Paul throughout the last few days have been professional and amicable," the statement continued. "Paul has already earned his place in Norwich City Football Club history and, no matter what happens, will always have a friendly welcome at Carrow Road."
If Lambert departs, it is likely his backroom staff - assistant Ian Culverhouse, the former Norwich defender, and head of football operations Gary Karsa - would follow him out of Carrow Road.
Norwich will now begin the search for Lambert's successor, with Cardiff manager Malky Mackay expected to be in the frame alongside another former Canaries player, Steve Bruce.