Here's a little teaser for you. As the door suddenly slammed shut on the St James' Park reign of Sam Allardyce, what was his last act as Toon boss?
It was not, apparently, to tell City boss Glenn Roeder to look elsewhere for a striker; that Shola Ameobi was not going off to Norfolk on loan…
No – something far more interesting, if the Newcastle Evening Chronicle is to be believed.
Roeder was on the phone to Big Sam trying to buy a new keeper – the 32-year-old Steve Harper.
This from tonight's Evening Chron: The Chronicle can reveal that former United boss Glenn Roeder tried to buy keeper Steve Harper yesterday and take him to Carrow Road in a permanent move.
But Roeder got a firm “no” from Allardyce ? just like had a couple of days earlier when he asked his successor if he could take Shola Ameobi on loan.”
The story that old Ferret read in December was that Allardyce had lined up his old Trotters No1 Jussi Jaaskelainen to follow him to Tyneside this window.
If that were to be the case, then Roeder clearly figured that being No3 behind both the 32-year-old Finn and his long-time pal Shay Given might not be what Harper was after at this stage in his career.
And that with a situation or two now vacant in the goalkeeping department following first Jim Hollman's exit last week and then that of Joe Lewis this week, he could kill several birds with one stone – get in an experienced keeper and character that he knew inside out; give himself someone other than young Steve Arnold to act as cover for David Marshall as Matty Gilks recovered from injury and, going forward, maybe offer Harper the chance to work with City's two outstanding teenage prospects, the England Youth pair of Declan Rudd and Jed Steer.
Given that the Easington-born keeper has been at St James' for 14 years now – albeit having only played 100-odd games – he would clearly have big connections with City No2 Lee Clark and, given the malaise that was fast descending on Tyneside under Allardyce's charge, may like Ameobi have been looking for a way out that involved a few, familiar and friendly faces.
Of course, no sooner had Allardyce knocked Roeder back then he was out on his ear, P45 in hand, as multi-millionaire owner Mike Ashley began his quest to find someone who would actually try to play 'the Newcastle way…'
But, the Chron story – if true – is interesting. It wasn't rocket science to work out that Roeder would be back knocking on Allardyce's door for Ameobi – particularly once the doomed Toon chief made it clear he would listen to offers for his fringe players.
But to be in for Harper… the new City boss is full of surprises.