The suggestion that Freddy Eastwood's switch to Wolves this week was virtually a done deal received something of a blow this weekend when Shrimpers boss Steve Tilson suggested it was anything but.
Eastwood, 23, had been strongly linked to a ?1.25 million switch to Molineux last week with the Wolverhampton Express & Star insisting that the Southend striker 'would' become Mick McCarthy's first major signing of the summer.
The Canaries, too, have been widely linked to Eastwood – just as they have to another Wolves target, Scunthorpe United's Billy Sharp.
The feeling remains that one will go to Wolves, the other to Norwich – which one goes where, however, remains firmly up in the air as both selling clubs look to wring as much money as they can out of the pair by way of their respective transfer fees before both players – and their agents – look to do precisely the same in terms of their eventual personal terms.
Tilson's comments to the official Southend United website yesterday suggested that the Shrimpers are still very much open to offers; that with ?2 million already proffered the way of both Crewe Alexandra and then Scunthorpe this summer, that the Canaries may yet be prepared to head north from ?1.5 million to land Eastwood's services.
“It's all hollow speculation at the moment,” Tilson told www.southendunited.co.uk yesterday, as the Essex side gave its first official reaction to the stories insisting that Eastwood was Molineux-bound.
The use of the words “at the moment” and the subsequent use of the equally telling words “so far” suggest that Tilson – like his chairman Ron Martin – still expect the picture to change again. Note the use of “for the time being” in his final sentence.
“Wolves have so far only made one low offer and that was immediately rejected.
“The chairman doesn't want to sell Freddy and an offer of ?1.5 million is well below the market value of such a proven goal-scorer,” added Tilson.
“For the time being he is a Southend player and that is fine with all of us.”
As for Sharp, the young man at the centre of a second tug-of-war between Wolves and Norwich promised everyone a decision on his return from holiday in Dubai. he is now back from his holiday in Dubai and everyone is now waiting to hear his decision.
Interestingly, two reports had Wolves faling to meet the Irons ?2 million valuation on the player – suggesting that McCarthy was hoping that the Andy Keogh factor could work to his advantage as the lad himself pushed for a reunion with his former strike pal in the Midlands.
This morning Scunthorpe boss Nigel Adkins was denying suggestions that anyone had laid an ultimatum at the 21-year-old's door – that he had until this weekend to decide his fate.
“That is definitely not the case,” he told the Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph. “Billy has been given no such deadline by us. We want him to stay with us and have offered him a terrific new contract.”
Elsewhere, City No2 keeper Paul Gallacher was again linked to a return to Scotland – this time to Aberdeen.
Gallacher has already found himself in the frame for the vacancy at John Collins' Hibernian. Whether there is such an opening at Pittodrie is, however, something of a moot point.
Dons' boss Jimmy Calderwood last week suggested not – despite the very public demotion of last season's No1, Jamie Langfield, for a series fo disciplinary breaches.
“My phone has been ringing with lots of agents offering me goalkeepers, but I'm not interested,” Calderwood told the Aberdeen Express & Journal.
“Derek Soutar will get his chance in the first team, but Jamie Langfield is still contracted for a year and will play if needed.
“Those two will both play in pre-season games and young Greg Kelly may also get an opportunity to play for the first team in the warm-up matches.
“I'm comfortable with that and am not in the market for another goalkeeper.”
Canary boss Peter Grant clearly is in the market for a new keeper – David Marshall, ideally. The move for the 22-year-old Celtic keeper remains on hold for now as everyone waits to see who blinks first – whether the Bhoys decide to take City's ?500,000 bid or whether Norwich tweak the terms of any deal more to Gordon Strachan's way of thinking.
Somewhere in the midst of all that, Marshall's agent Willie MacKay – named in last week's Quest report by Lord Stevens' team – will have to play an important role in getting Grant's No1 keeper target into the building at Colney.
Finally the Sunday People linked Canary coach Martin Hunter to a return north to become Chris Hutchings' No2 at Wigan Athletic.
That there is a vacancy at the JJB Stadium is not in question. “I'm hoping to appoint a number two soon,” said the new Latics boss last week.