As ever in these situations, you have to try and put two and two together. Find the 'hyper-link', as someone once told old Ferret.
Which, in Ferret's speak, is the same as saying: 'So, who's his mate?'
Which is where Paddy McCourt comes into it. Him and Mr Clingan. Cos Mr McCourt came from way out of the left-field; before today and the 24-year-old Derry winger was just a glint in Tony Mowbray's eye. And no more.
He was all set for his medical at The Hawthorns later this week; the chairman had said his good-byes; ?75,000 in the bank; ?75,000 more to come – all our Pat had to do was pass his medical with the Baggies and it was job done.
And then in came Norwich. Suddenly, there was a fly in the ointment – a second bidder. One that didn't go unnoticed by first the Londonderry Sentinel and then the Birmingham Evening Mail – the word was out. There was a second player in town.
Which suggests that the Canaries have dropped enough of a wink and a nudge to suggest that they can match the Baggies transfer fee wise and would be prepared to look at the lad's wages. At 24, from Derry, they are not going to be huge. However exciting the player is. You don't get big bucks moving to England from Derry City.
Now, given the lad is a massive Liverpool fan, the prospect of just getting on the bus to Anfield next season may be enough for the winger to stick to Plan A and go with Mowbray.
But you'd be amazed if he was likely to be the first name on Mowbray's team-sheet for the first half of next season. As the lad from the Mail admitted – that would be Norwich's charm. The chance to figure rather larger in someone's first team thinking – particularly if Luton refuse to budge from their 'Double your money…' position on David Bell.
You could probably get McCourt in for half a Bell fee and half Bell's wages – provided the lad did the same job.
And who might have an inside line on the mercurial McCourt? Who might have just stepped into Colney and in the course of his conversation with the new gaffer, have given his former Northern Ireland Under-21 pal the big sell?
That, for me, might be the 'hyper-link' – Mr Clingan.
Re-read Nige's comments on the ex-Forest lad and the stuff about him, potentially, being the next skipper of Northern Ireland suggests a lad that's old beyond his 24 years and might know what other little diamonds lie across the water.
And he might, equally, be the one and only reason that, at the very eleventh hour, McCourt has put his Baggies' switch on hold and is waiting to see what Norwich have to say; what the Canaries have to offer now that his pal Sammy is in the door there.
It's interesting; very interesting. And given that McCourt was due to be Mowbray's first signing of the summer, I suspect he won't want to hang around on this; that McCourt will either be a West Brom player by the weekend or not. It won't drag on.
Does he fit the Roeder bill? I think so; his unusual career suggests a lad who has lived on the edge; a player that would be a risk – albeit a cheap one. And the City chief likes to live his life on the edge; he's long proved that he doesn't do safety first.
McCourt doesn't either look or feel like a run-of-the-mill character. And that would suit Roeder down to the ground. Worth watching, old Ferret thinks.
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