At least two out, one already in and two more – possibly – looking to force their way in. Just another quiet day on the Premiership transfer merry-go-round.
Midfielder Matty Gill and Jens Berthel Askou were the two seeking pastures new this summer as Canary chief Paul Lambert confirmed neither would be offered new deals and would, therefore, be free to seek new employers.
The one in, of course, was Everton’s 22-year-old striker James Vaughan whose arrival – alas – was somewhat over-shadowed by one Canary fans racist remarks on Twitter.
The latter has now be banned for life; the former was welcomed with open arms by Lambert this afternoon as Vaughan formally signed his three-year Canary contract and thus became City’s first fresh face of a busy summer.
“It was a no-brainer,” was Vaughan’s simple verdict, once news of Norwich’s interest reached him.
Lambert revealed that the one-time, record-breaking Everton youngster had been on his radar in January. Thwarted then, a second bite at the cherry delivered the goods. Simeon Jackson, for one, will be given a run for his money next term.
“We looked at it in January and we couldn’t do it, so we just had to move on and we were fortunate enough to get a second chance at him,” the City chief told reporters this afternoon.
“I think the great thing about him is he has played at Premiership level before, he knows what it is all about, he is only 22 and hopefully his best years are in front of him.”
As for the two looking to bag a ticket to the big time this summer, Millwall’s Steve Morison has already made his intentions plain by slapping in a transfer request with Lions’ boss Kenny Jackett.
Which he promptly rejected. Cue stalemate.
Enter Peterborough’s own want-away striker Craig Mackail-Smith who wasted little time in declaring his Premiership intentions – despite the fact that the London Road club are now back in The Championship following their 3-0 League One Play-Off final win over Lee Clark’s Huddersfield.
Which featured Mackail-Smith’s 35th goal of the season – his 99th for the Cambridgeshire club since his switch from Dagenham & Redbridge.
Once again, a player that ticks all Lambert’s ‘hunger’ boxes. Like skipper Grant Holt, like Russell Martin, like Andrew Crofts and, of course, Morison, Mackail-Smith has conquered every division the Football League has to offer.
All he needs is to add the Premier League to his cv and his journey to the top of the English game will be complete.
And whilst the Posh striker wasn’t in quite such a forceful mood as Morison at Millwall, he is clearly eyeing a ticket out of Peterborough this summer – provided someone can match the valuation that Barry Fry and Co will slap on his head.
A figure of £4 million has already been quoted; the impression given by a frustrated City chief executive David McNally earlier this spring was that that price was liable to move again at a moment’s notice – north invariably, as Norwich’s early approaches were given the runaround.
“We’ll see what the summer brings,” said the 27-year-old, fresh from bagging his third promotion with Posh after a memorable day out at Old Trafford.
“I’d love to be in the Premier League next season, that would be a dream come true,” he added. “And I think the club have done what’s best for them.”
Unlike Morison, it appears that Mackail-Smith is prepared to bide his time and be patient; he won’t rock the boat unduly. Not yet. There is yet another game afoot.
Unlike Jackett, Fry-stroke-Ferguson have yet to publically turn down a new and improved bid for their main man – be it from a Norwich, a Wigan, a QPR or a West Ham; all have been linked to his signature.
“I’ve always said that until a bid comes in that is right for them, I won’t make a fuss and I’ll get on with my job,” he told the Press.
“If the right offer comes in over the summer than we’ll sit down and talk and take it from there.”
Certainly Posh boss Darren Ferguson appeared to be resigned to losing his star turn this summer; that he would be charged with planning a Championship campaign without his 35-goal strike asset.
“You would have to say the odds are stacked with him probably leaving,” said Ferguson this weekend.
“We would have to get the right money for him but everyone would wish him all the best. He’s earned the chance to go and play at a higher level.
“We need other players and we have to try and establish ourselves in the Championship now.”