Another day, another name, another spin round the January transfer merry-go-round for Glenn Roeder's Canaries.
This time it was Sheffield United's versatile midfielder Chris Armstrong finding himself linked to a switch to Carrow Road – The Sun attaching an ?800,000 fee for the 25-year-old Blade as Roeder goes a-fishing in South Yorkshire. Apparently.
With the ink barely dry on Joe Lewis ?400,000 switch to Peterborough and Chris Brown's reported ?350,000 move to Preston North End expected to be completed in the next 24 hours, the Canaries would appear to be relatively flush with money as they stay firmly in the hunt for both Bulgarian international defender Valentin Iliev (?750,000) and Martin Taylor (?750,000).
They have also found themselves in the hunt for Plymouth's David Norris with the Pilgrims slapping a ?2 million price tag on their own midfield star; Cardiff City's Paul Parry is another one with a hefty price tag attached – ?700,000 is the Bluebirds' going rate. Oh, and Hartlepool youngster James Brown. Yours for ?500,000.
Clearly as keen as Roeder is to reinforce, he is not about to do all three. Not that money – at those kind of levels – ought to be too much of a stumbling block.
The story always was that ex-boss Peter Grant committed the cardinal managerial sin of departing his post with substantial transfer funds still left in his kitty – Rule No1: Spend every penny that a board gives you and then ask for more – while the return of the club's principal shareholder Delia Smith to the nation's TVs and book-shelves this spring was always designed, in part, to free up extra resources for the new Canary manager.
And finally, somewhere in the background, lies the great Turner question. The Central Trust pair of Andrew and Sharon Turner have, thus far, managed to stick to their 'We'll rule nothing in, we'll rule nothing out…' line which in months like this can have its advantages.
Ask Ipswich Town. With the world and his wife knowing that new owner Marcus Evans has handed boss Jim Magilton a ?12 million war chest, it is not surprising that other clubs start to demand ?12 million prices for their players – Norris being the classic example.
Wrapped in mystery, the Turners could yet be quietly filling Roeder's palm with silver – the only proof coming in the shape of the transfer window pudding. A ?750,000 here; a ?500,000 down-payment there.
Equally, however, the on-going 'credit crunch' could have hit those in the loans market that hard that their initial City investment plans have had to be scaled down in line with the global turbulence in the money markets. That's all for Karren Brady, Peter Ridsdale, etc, to guess.
Armstrong's availability may, in part, be down to the arrival of the veteran Gary Speed as he takes one of the midfield places on offer at Bramall Lane. But having featured in the first team regularly this term – and unlike one or two others, Armstrong played in United's 1-0 FA Cup third round win at Bolton Wanderers last weekend – Blades boss Bryan Robson may be loathe to lose him.
He is, however, Newcastle-born. Which may help.
In the meantime new Posh keeper Lewis revealed that he wasn't in any great hurry to leave the club that he had supported since boyhood.
“Not really,” Lewis told the Evening News this morning. “Initially it was a shock to me. I had a phone call from the manager saying they had accepted a bid and the club thought it would be best for me to leave.
“I'm very disappointed that I never got to play for the club I have supported all my life but that's football and, from Norwich's point of view, it's probably good business in the short term. Whether it's good business in the long term we will see,” he told the paper.
As much as players continue to hold all too many of the cards, there are still times when football can resemble something of a meat market with younger players, in particular, still traded at a whim. Or if not a whim in Roeder's case, then a strong hunch that – in the short-to-medium terms – getting Lewis out makes decent business sense.
After all, for one untested keeper at Championship level and one, goal-shy striker you can get a half-decent centre-half these days – be it either the skipper of CSKA Sofia or a 'Tiny' Taylor.
In fairness, for all his yellow and green blood, Lewis had twigged that he would have a long fight on his hands trying to unseat David Marshall from his No1 slot. He would also have to find a way beyond Matty Gilks – and all while keeping both Declan Rudd and Jed Steer at bay, as the two England Youth keepers follow in Lewis' footsteps on the international stage.
“It's a big change for me,” said Lewis, fresh from packing his bags for London Road.
“I used to have a season ticket and it's a big wrench to be leaving the club, but it was clear that the opportunities weren't going to be there for me,” Lewis told the newspaper. “I'm obviously disappointed but I'll be playing first team football at an ambitious club who'll hopefully be in the same league as Norwich in a couple of years.”