Confirmation that the race for Billy Sharp's signature was now, indeed, a four-horse race came from Sheffield Wednesday boss Brian Laws this afternoon.
The Owls chief was quoted by BBC Radio Sheffield as saying that the Owls were now locked in a tug-of-war with Norwich, Wolves and Sheffield United for the young man's services.
The BBC report also claimed that Sharp – whose agent is ex-Owls favourite Imre Varadi – was due for talks at Hillsborough “in the next 48 hours” where, presumeably, he will be granted the same kind of 'grand tour' that the 21-year-old enjoyed around Carrow Road and Colney last Wednesday.
“We know we face competition for Billy, we're aware of the interest from Norwich and Wolves and I understand Sheffield United are now another contender,” said Laws today, as Sharp's boyhood club looked to re-recruit a player they let go for ?100,000 two years ago – a move that will scupper Blades' hopes of a ?475,000 pay-day given the 25 per cent sell-on they enjoy on their one-time Academy starlet.
If United can lay claim to Sharp's boyhood affections, Wednesday's ace card is the player's relationship with Laws himself after both shone in Scunthorpe's League One promotion campaign last season.
Wolves offer his big pal Andy Keogh and the prospect of Steve Morgan's cash; Norwich have a head-start in terms of expressing their interest early – while by every account, the player was genuinely impressed by everything he saw and heard on his day trip to Norfolk.
Quite how much of the Turner 'loan' will be brought to bear on winning his signature is the interesting – if not, decisive – point.
Wednesday face an uphill battle on the cash front after Laws conceded that funds were sufficiently tight that he could not afford to chase both Sharp and re-sign last season's top-scorer Steve MacLean who moved on to Cardiff City over the weekend.
“It's a matter of trying to do the best deal that we possibly can. He knows what I'm all about and there's going to come a time where has to make a decision,” said Laws.
The fact that Sharp, his father and his agent now appear to be on a summer tour of Championship clubs points to one other fact – that Irons chairman Steve Wharton has agreed fees with more clubs than just Norwich.
If he hasn't at least agreed a fee with the Owls, then Laws wouldn't be quite so open about the fact that he now has the opportunity to speak to the 21-year-old.
“The chairman at Scunthorpe wouldn't be allowing us to talk to Billy if he wasn't happy with what we offered several weeks ago,” Laws said to BBC Radio Sheffield.
As to when Sharp will eventually make a decision, he and his representatives will be sorely tempted to wait on developments at Bramall Lane before deciding which way to jump.
The Blades are due to finally hear this week whether or not their appeal against relegation from the Premiership on the back of the whole Carlos Tevez affair has been successful.
In the unlikely event they over-turn the League's original ruling and condemn West Ham United to the drop instead, Sheffield United's financial fortunes will change dramatically overnight – and may even see them target bigger fish than Sharp.
Meanwhile it is all ominously quiet at Molineux. Southend United striker Freddy Eastwood was, according to earlier reports, due to have completed his ?1.25 million move already.
And yet there was Shrimpers chairman Ron Martin claiming over the weekend that Norwich would need to up their alleged ?1.5 million offer for the player considerably if the 23-year-old was to leave Roots Hall this summer.
“Norwich have made a bid for Freddy but I have told them that they are not offering enough,” said Martin to the Southend Echo.
“Freddy is being dramatically undervalued and is worth a lot more to this football club than ?1.5million. That is what I've told Norwich and I still don't want him to leave.”
All of which suggests that Eastwood-to-Molineux for a mere ?1.25 million tale has some way to go yet, let alone the Sharp-to-Wolves headlines if Mick McCarthy is, indeed, looking to block Norwich on both transfer fronts.
At least City have a third card up their sleeve in the shape of ex-Canary star Jamie Cureton, who is still sat with his transfer request in hand at Colchester United waiting to see which way the Eastwood-Sharp wind blows.
The only real news coming from the West Midlands was chief executive Jez Moxey assuring everyone that Morgan's ?30 million takeover was still on course and that having bought the club for just ?10 off the ruling Hayward family, that it was only the odd 'legal technicality' that was holding up proceedings.
Whether Sharp goes straight from Hillsborough to Molineux to see what McCarthy has to say for himself will be something to watch for later in the week.
And, finally, looming large over everyone is the prospect of Charlton Athletic banking ?16 million or so from the sale of Darren Bent – if and when the Addicks finally agree terms with Tottenham Hotspur after that ?17 million switch to West Ham United proved not to Bent's liking.
The widespread expectation is that once the Bent deal goes through, Charlton chief Alan Pardew will be back in the Championship striker market with another vengeance having already handed the first of City's summer strike targets, Crewe's Luke Varney, that eye-watering four-year deal.
The real fun has, in every probability, yet to start.
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