City boss Glenn Roeder this morning sought to quash speculation that Darren Huckerby could be heading for the other side of the Pond in the none-too-distant future.
The 32-year-old's future inevitably comes up for fevered debate at this time of the year given that, with a one-year deal after a one-year deal to his name, the two-time City Player of the Year is invariably free to walk in the summer.
This time last year and the talk was all of a reunion with his one-time Coventry City pal Gordon Strachan at Celtic.
This year and the village drums insist that the Canary winger will look to end his career State-side in the Major League Soccer set-up – or rather, according to reports this weekend, will look to end his career Canada-side with a reunion with ex-Canary midfielder Carl Robinson and full-back Jim Brennan at Toronto FC.
There is clearly a very nice life-style to be had in the States – one with growing appeal for a clutch of 30-something, UK footballers as the MLS starts to gain real ground in the American sports market.
Roeder today, however, insisted that he had had no contact with the Canadian club. Like the previous reports putting Huckerby on the plane to LA and a chance to finish his playing days alongside David Beckham at LA Galaxy, the biggest question mark probably lies not so much in the eventual destination, rather the timing.
That Huckerby may yet prefer to wait to see what the summer brings rather than packing his bags for sunnier climes in the next 72-hours with the MLS, like the Premiership and every other major professional football league, being bound by the same, FIFA-imposed transfer window rulings.
“I haven't taken any phone calls – no-one's spoken to me,” said Roeder, asked as to whether he had had any enquiries as to Huckerby's availability this window.
As for the specific Toronto link, that again drew a big, fat blank from the City chief.
“I don't know anything about that – nothing whatsoever,” he said, well aware that he can be the last one to know if any move is afoot.
Buying club, agent and player can put a 'done deal' together easily enough and then simply approach the so-called 'selling' club with the news. These days it takes a very brave manager and an equally resolute board to stand in any player's way – which is why the whole David Norris saga at Plymouth Argyle may yet have a couple more twists and turns in it before the midnight hour on Thursday after the long-time Ipswich Town target was denied his transfer request.
“The way that the system works that quite often now the manager and the club are the last people to hear,” said Roeder.
“The days of people ringing up a manager first and asking him whether a player is available is nearly shot to pieces; it's nearly gone.
“I think a lot of people do deals around the back door,” he added. “But I've heard nothing. I've had no phone calls – from anywhere in this country. Or anywhere in Canada.”
The fact that Huckerby was in the stands for the Leicester game and was able to watch as Chelsea starlet Ryan Bertrand settled himself into 'his' role away on the left did little to dampen down the speculation that a famous Carrow Road career was heading for the final curtain.
There is again every chance that Huckerby will be missing again tomorrow night following last week's trip to the specialists and an injection to his troublesome hip – one that, hopefully, will knock the problem finally on the head.
Huckerby has certainly looked ill at ease of late playing-wise; hehas not been his usual, free-flowing self.
“He had one earlier in the season that helped him for only a short while and then the pain in the hip came back,” revealed Roeder.
“It's not a course; it's just a one-off. And, hopefully, this time it will cure the problem. He says he's feeling a bit better anyway.”
Huckerby didn't train last week and remains a distinctly doubtful traveller to St Mary's tomorrow. Roeder himself admitted that given the level of performance on offer against the Foxes nine days ago that he would be more than happy to go again with the same starting line-up.
Huckerby's hip aside, he has no fresh injury concerns.
“Under the instructions of the surgeon who put the injection in last Wenesday, he didn't come out training with us at all last week. Basically, he was just resting and staying with the physio.”
As to the precise nature of his hip complaint, Roeder revealed a “very, very small tear” lay at the root of the problem.
“It's certainly not anywhere [big] enough to consider surgery. So he hasn't got to worry about that,” said Roeder, who clearly felt the need to try and nip the whole issue in the bud following a meeting two weeks ago.
“When I had a chat with him the week before last and asked him how he felt he was doing and how he was playing, he said he felt that the hip was causing him a bit of a problem.
“And that's when I decided that the best thing to do was to withdraw him from action and get it seen to. And that's how having the needle put in his hip came about.”