The pace of City's transfer activity continued to quicken today as it emerged that Birmingham City were now firmly in the driving seat to win the race for Gary Cahill's signature.
That, of course, could – and it remains merely a 'could' given the personalities concerned – ease the way for Martin Taylor's exit to Norfolk.
That all said, the fact that Blues' desperate 2-0 defeat at Sunderland plunged Alex McLeish's side into ever deeper trouble may yet persuade the manager that he needs to keep every fit and able body at his side and, as City boss Glenn Roeder feared on Monday, delay the 28-year-old's move to Norfolk until the summer.
Indeed, it would come as little surprise if Roeder did not have a 'Plan B' up his sleeve for the morning after appearing very confident at St Mary's last night that the club would be in a position to announce two new arrivals in the morning – one of which would, he suggested, would be of the centre-half variety.
Meanwhile, Blues chief McLeish confirmed to the Birmingham Evening Mail today that he was closing in on Cahill's signature as the St Andrew's club muscled both Bolton Wanderers and AN Other out of the way in order to reunite the Villa defender with his former Villa Park team-mate Liam Ridgewell across the city.
“As it's been well documented, we're in the race for Cahill and we're hopeful of bringing him to Birmingham City,” McLeish told the Mail, in the wake of last night's body-blow of a 2-0 defeat at the Stadium Of Light.
“He would certainly enhance the backline, and it's been quite tough for us there with a shortage of bodies.”
Which is one of the reasons why Blues have proved such reluctant sellers. The other, of course, is Karren Brady's determination to keep Norwich dangling – despite the player's own clear willingness to play his football under Roeder, Clark and Co. The Birmingham City chief executive moves to centre stage today now that last night's game is out of the way.
First on the agenda will be completing Cahill's reported ?5 million switch; Taylor's exit might be next.
“Yesterday it was all about getting business done in terms of the match,” confirmed McLeish. “I know that Karren Brady has been talking to the player and agent and I'm sure we will take it further today.”
Norwich's cause has probably not been helped by Tunisia's Group D success in the African Cup of Nations where the absent Radhi Jaidi has figured large at the heart of their defence.
They play fellow Group D leaders Angola tomorrow night. A draw would be a convenient result for both nations as it would book their place in the last eight and extend Jaidi's stay in Africa for another week.
With another huge relegation tussle looming in the shape of a home clash with Derby County looming this weekend, McLeish could still be very, very reluctant to let Taylor go after putting him on the bench at the Stadium Of Light last night.
The irony is, of course, that in amidst all the endless Taylor talk, Gary Doherty and Jason Shackell are in the midst of their best spell of the season.
Shackell, freed from the worry and responsibility of captaincy, was outstanding at St Mary's last night as Norwich continued to power away from the danger zone on their two-point-per-game run on the back of a huge-hearted shut out, aided and abetted by the woodwork and that ghastly penalty miss.
Afterwards and Roeder was happy to sing the 24-year-old's praises as he now has just his own game to concentrate on – as opposed to worrying about everyone else's.
“He's still a relatively young player playing in an old man's position,” said Roeder, as he revealed more of the man management style that might, in part, explain why Norwich look a shadow of their former doomed selves.
“And I think he needed to concentrate on his own game rather than shoulder the burden of being the captain as well – especially by the time it got to the end of October when I came here and we were on eight points.
“And now I've got to know him he takes things very much to heart and I felt he was feeling very responsible, as the captain, for the position that we were in. He shouldn't have been like that. And I told him that he didn't need to be like that. But I felt it was only the right thing to do once I saw Fotheringham at work at the training ground and his character.”
Swap made, Roeder appears to be reaping the benefit – even if the arrival of this new centre-half at Colney tomorrow threatens to keep all concerned on their toes.
“I think it was the right thing to do because he's been fairly consistent at the moment.”
Fotheringham, of course, lasted just 20-odd minutes last night before hobbling gingerly off to the sidelines.
Roeder confirmed that it was nothing more serious than a whack to his calf that had stiffened up “almost immediately”. He appeared confident that the City playmaker would be fit for Saturday's home clash with Preston North End by when – in theory, at least – he should have one or two more fresh faces for company.