One definite, one very probable, one more than likely and one 'No!' – those were the scores on the doors at ten o'clock this morning as City boss Glenn Roeder revealed the whereabouts of his four loan stars ahead of tomorrow's FA Cup third round clash with Bury.
It could all change again by later this afternoon as the Canaries sit down with Matty Pattison and finalise his full-time switch from Newcastle United.
Likewise Manchester City youngster Ched Evans is due to meet both Sven Goran Eriksson and his No2, Tord Grip, after training this morning to discuss his hopes of returning to Norfolk on a full-time basis.
The one definite was Mo Camara with Derby boss Paul Jewell having agreed the 32-year-old left-back can stay on loan with the Canaries until the end of the season; the one 'No!' was Chelsea youngster Jimmy Smith after new boss Avram Grant liked what he saw in training.
“Mo's re-signed to the end of the season; Jimmy's gone back,” announced Roeder this morning, as he insisted that all the talk of Joe Lewis making a ?400,000 switch to Peterborough remained, for now, just speculation.
Smith's return was, he said, a blow. But with injuries and the African Cup of Nations to consider, Grant was loathe to let the 20-year-old come out to play again. “I would liked to have kept him – he was a very enthusiastic lad to work with and he was talented. And we never really gave him the opportunity to play in his favourite position which was through the centre of midfield.
“But they've seen him train over the last couple of days and Avram's been very impressed with the way that he's fitted in around the Chelsea first team squad. And with the injuries they've got and four or five players away with the African Nations, he wants to keep him.
“He thinks he will be involved around the squad for the next month or so and can't let him come back unfortunately.”
Evans' situation wasn't helped by a cancelled meeting yesterday. With players having to be registered by noon today if they wish to take part in this weekend's FA Cup third round, the chances are that the Welsh Under-21 striker will be missing for the Shakers clash even if Roeder remains upbeat about the young man's chances of making a return in time for the Championship trip to Barnsley.
“The meeting Ched was having with Sven yesterday did get called off and he's seeing him after training today,” said Roeder. “So I'm still hopeful on that one.”
All of which left Pattison. The impression always was that there was a full-time deal to be had there; that is now sat on a desk somewhere being pored over by all concerned. The fact that the player himself is in Norfolk may well be a positive sign. Toon boss Sam Allardyce has probably more to worry about right now than quibbling over the finer points of the 21-year-old's exit. Meeting Joey Barton's lawyers might figure rather larger.
“Matty we're in talks with at the moment to sign him permanently – we're getting quite a long way down the road, but it's all on-going with his agent and with Newcastle,” said the City chief. “And if we can get that done by 12 o'clock today, he'll be OK to play tomorrow.”
Smith's exit, said Roeder, would ensure that he would be looking for a similar type of player to come in on loan again until the end of the season. “I'll turn one up somewhere – I'm sure,” said a man, wholly confident in his own contacts and abilities in the transfer market.
As for Lewis, nothing to be said. “Nothing on that at all,” said Roeder, as the Posh line up the 21-year-old keeper as their biggest-ever transfer signing. Apparently.
“I think that was just a rumour that was circulating among the Peterborough media,” said the City chief. “But, no, there's nothing to report on that at all.” Nor on talk of Chris Brown switching to Doncaster Rovers.
He wouldn't rule anything in or out, however. There were, he said, too many players at the club just “jogging on the spot” and as such would prove surplus to his requirements; that with a fair wind, “three, four, five” players would be shipped out to be replaced by players capable of walking straight into his first team.
“I'm not saying I'm not going to sell anybody – as Tommy Doherty told me a long while ago, everybody's got a price.”
QPR have already set the bar in terms of wheeling and dealing, with their Formula One fortunes seeing five fresh faces arrive at Loftus Road – with more, apparently, to follow. Whether the revolving door at Colney spins at such speed remains to be seen, but Roeder admitted that he did like to wheel and deal.
“A boy from East London? Apples and pears and all that…?” he laughed. “I had a good mentor in Harry Redknapp and, yes, I suppose I do enjoy it.
“I never like to pay the asking price – even when I go into shops. Ever. I feel really bad if I have to pay the asking price and I really get sick if I make a bid and they say: 'Yes!'
“And I think: 'Oh no… I could have got that cheaper…' So I'm very comfortable with haggling and making the first bid so ridiculous that they say: 'No!' and then we can go up one rung at a time. This is the hardest part of being a manager – recruitment. But I do enjoy it.”
And the fun was only just beginning. Today, for example, could be lively as Roeder revealed plans for a second Press conference later today should one or two things fall into place be it at St James' Park, Eastlands or, indeed, beyond.
“Hopefully we can have another Press conference at about 1.30pm today – and there might be some other news as well,” said Roeder.