The Newcastle Evening Chronicle were today insisting that the Canaries will not try and hi-jack Ipswich's ?3.5 million raid for Toon striker Shola Ameobi.
The Suffolk have yet to officially confirm that they have, officially, made a bid for the 26-year-old striker – a player long-admired by City boss Glenn Roeder.
But as further details of the intended payment seep out on Tyneside, so it would appear that the Canaries are in little mood to match Marcus Evans' show of financial strength – or at least, not by slapping such a hefty sum on one single player.
With less 'vacancies' to fill, Town can afford to be a bit more gung-ho about their summer spending plans; Norwich – in all likelihood – need at least four or five permanent signings. And the same again in loan signings – all of whom will come with a loan fee and agent's cost attached.
That, at least, was the reading of the situation in the North-East by the Chronicle's veteran football writer, Alan Oliver.
“Meanwhile,” he wrote today, “Norwich City will NOT try to hijack Shola Ameobi's move to Ipswich Town after United accepted a ?3.5m package for the 26-year-old striker from Portman Road.
“Ipswich have agreed to pay United ?2m down, with another ?1m on appearances and a further ?500,000 if Ameobi helps them win promotion.
“Glenn Roeder does not have this sort of money to spend on one player at Carrow Road, and in the meantime Ameobi is waiting to see if any other clubs, especially in the Premier League, come in for him.”
With Norwich having long made it policy not to comment on transfer speculation stories and Ipswich doing nothing more than issue a 'No comment…' response to this week's big story, there was little more to add – other than to suspect that Oliver will be pretty near the mark in his speculation.
The Canaries have to make whatever transfer funds they have available this summer stretch an awful long way.
And with Roeder having already wondered aloud as to just how problematical Ameobi's long-standing hip issues might prove, it would come as something of a surprise to see them slap a straight, ?2 million wad down on the table in a bid to match Ipswich's offer.
The question for Town chief Jim Magilton is whether Gareth Southgate's Middlesbrough steal his summer thunder – offering Ameobi the chance to both play Premiership football and to stay in his North-East base.
Otherwise, the way looks open for Evans' millions to land the 6ft 2in striker.
Elsewhere and Iron striker Martin Paterson is clearly not for long at Glanford Park after telling the Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph that his mind might not be fully focussed on League One football next season – which is the classic, toys-out-of-the-pram routine as advocated by players' agents the world over.
That once a club turn down a transfer request – and all after Burnley have twice had a nibble at the player around the ?550,000 mark – then your next card is to suggest that your mind might be elsewhere.
Just as Damien Francis' 'mind was elsewhere…' when it came to turning up for a pre-season friendly at Colchester United in the summer of 2005. Having spent most of the summer agitating for a move back into the Premiership with Portsmouth, it was Wigan who stepped in with the bigger bid as the Canaries found themselves with little or no option but to come to the table and deal.
The 'mind was elsewhere…' trick is tantamount to going on strike – even if no-one quite calls it that.
“I've obviously made it very clear I want to leave the club by handing in a transfer request,” the former Stoke striker, told the Telegraph.
“The reason that I did that is because when I signed, the club said if I did well they wouldn't stand in my way of bettering myself or staying in the Championship. I'm coming to the end of a year where I think I've done okay. I've not ripped up trees, but I think I've done well and that Scunthorpe have gone back on their word.”
All of which will put the Canaries on high alert – provided that Burnley have not already got the player's nod.
“I hope they look at it from the point of view that I'm a young lad and very ambitious and I want to use the momentum I've had this year,” added Paterson, offering a welcome dose of modesty for a 21-year-old footballer.
“I don't think I'm a player with unbelievable ability. If anything, I think I'm a player that probably lacks a bit of ability, but I've always tried 100 per cent for Scunthorpe every time I've walked over the chalk.
“Hopefully the fans, when they look at it, will think that while I do want to leave the club, and I've made that very clear, I've worked hard and have earned the right to better myself.”
Burnley have already had two bids turned down by The Iron; their own hand may be strengthened by the impending exit of Kyle Lafferty – now reported to be bound for Celtic in a ?2.5 million cash-plus-player deal.
And the player coming the other way? Someone well known in these parts under Peter Grant's reign – Celtic misfit Derek Riordan.