Hull City boss Phil Brown this afternoon suggested that Canary loan target Andrew Davies was en route to Norfolk for a chat with his Carrow Road counterpart Peter Grant as the race for the 22-year-old's signature gathered pace.
Grant – desperate to slam someone into that vacant No5 shirt as his injury problems mounted – revealed at Colney this morning that he was, indeed, interested in talking to the right-sided Boro' defender.
Now, according to Brown, he will get his chance – and all after having swapped thoughts with George Burley at Southampton earlier in the week.
“Andy is now down talking to Norwich and he's already spoken to Southampton and all I've said to the agent is to keep us up to speed with anything that happens,” Brown told the Hull Daily Mail this lunchtime.
Davies was given the full red carpet treatment at the KC Stadium on Tuesday night when he watched Hull's 2-1 defeat by Charlton Athletic.
The Hull chief was also clearly hoping that his previous connection with the Boro' defender will also serve him in good stead – the two were at Pride Park together when Brown was Rams boss and Davies arrived there on loan.
It was at that point that he made his first, big impression on Norwich supporters as the 6ft 2in England Under-21 star grabbed both goals in a 2-0 win for the Rams over the Canaries in December, 2005.
It was one of the more uncomfortable afternoons of Nigel Worthington's reign – nothing on such miseries as Plymouth (a) this time last year, but still one of those days when the cultural gap between the Premiership and the Championship was there for all to see.
From Brown's point of view, that's the chip he is now looking to cash in as he tries to persuade Davies to sign on the same dotted line as his former Bolton charge, Jay-Jay Okocha.
“He assures me that we're in the box seat because we've worked together before, but you never know when there's other interest,” Brown told the Mail this afternoon.
“We will have to see and to an extent,” he added. “We're in the lap of the gods at the moment. I would rather get it done before Saturday if we possibly can and if that's the case, he'll go straight into the squad.”
Which is exactly what he'll do come Monday night should Grant's powers of persuasion prove that much greater than either Brown's or Burley's.
Or rather should the power of Grant's cheque book prove more persuasive than that on offer either on the South Coast or on Humberside.
Because once a fee has been agreed with Middlesbrough – and all the talk has been of a three-month loan with a view to a ?1 million permanent switch once the transfer window opens in January – thereafter, it will come down to the best deal that Davies and his agent can prise out of the chasing pack.
Which will be very instructive to watch given that the Turners – Andrew and Sharon – can now add their extra financial muscle to the debate.
Hull, of course, have already proved that they can bolt the likes of an Okocha onto their own promotion plans; for the Turners, Grant and the Norwich City board, the question will be as to whether they will do what it takes to beat the Tigers' offer – or have they a point at which they say, 'No more…!' and leave the hard-pressed Canary manager back at square one again in terms of his centre-half hunt.
Again, even if they match Hull's offer pound-for-pound and year-for-year contract-wise, Brown's earlier relationship with the player and Humberside's closer proximity to the lad's Teesside base could still sway the argument Brown's way.
Davies might also take a long, hard look at the Championship table and think: 'Mmmm…'
Either way as yet another Billy Sharp-like chase breaks out between a clutch of rival Championship clubs, the last thing anyone in Norfolk would have wanted would have been for Brown to say: 'Over to you…' in quite such a public manner.
Particularly on a day when both Gary Doherty and Ian Murray were heading off for a scan on their respective groin and foot troubles and leaving Grant's defensive cupboard looking particularly bare ahead of that huge trip to Loftus Road on Monday night.
No pressure, then.
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