Norwich City's brief interest in securing the services of the mercurial Paddy McCourt look set to end before they ever really began after the 24-year-old was reported to be en route to Scotland and a medical with Celtic.
McCourt – a former Northern Ireland Under-21 team-mate of Norwich new-boy Sammy Clingan – had long been lined up for a switch to West Bromwich Albion after the Baggies agreed a ?150,000 fee plus friendly package with McCourt's current employers, Derry City.
Three days later and it was the Canaries throwing a spanner in the works as they declared their interest in the one-time Rochdale winger; within a further 24-hours, however, and Bhoys boss Gordon Strachan – currently on Euro2008 duty with the BBC – appeared to have gazumped both clubs by offering Derry a slightly-improved financial offer and the prospect of a money-spinning friendly with the Glasgow giants.
Given the level of fanatical support Celtic enjoy among Northern Ireland's Catholic community, it comes as little surprise to find Derry running off to play transfer games with the Bhoys.
Despite being a self-confessed Liverpool fanatic, McCourt is likely to have needed little persuasion to join Celtic. The Scottish champions have, of course, the small matter of Champions League football on offer – as well as that huge and fanatical fan base.
“While we are trying to get the first team right for the Premier League, we are also looking to bring in players to strengthen the underbelly of the club,” Baggies boss Tony Mowbray told the Birmingham Mail today, with the paper confirming that McCourt was now Glasgow-bound.
“It's a process we started last season and Pat was one of a few players we are looking to bring in – but on our terms. These are players who, while we're trying to develop their talent, can step into the first team at any given time,” added the former Town coach.
“However, during the club's discussions with Pat, it became clear he has other options where he feels he may have a greater opportunity to play first team football and we wish him all the best.”
The Glasgow Evening Times today confirmed the impression that the 24-year-old was Celtic Park-bound having flown up from Birmingham as soon as news of the Scottish champions' interest broke. It was a call to his agent that, in every likelihood, ended Norwich's interest in the player.
“The delighted player flew straight from Birmingham this morning after being informed of the Scottish champion's interest and is desperate to sign,” the Evening Times reported today.
“McCourt, who can play either on the left or right wing, is a former Irish Player of the Year.
“The lifelong Celtic fan is out of contract in November – the Irish league runs through the summer – and Derry City are believed to be keen to cash on their star player while they still can.”
Amusingly, the 'life-long' Celtic fan was busily looking forward to the Baggies' trip to Liverpool on November 8, before the Bhoys tugged on his heart-strings.
?I'm a Liverpool fan, as is my whole family, so obviously I'll be looking to see when we are playing at Anfield,” McCourt told the Londonderry Sentinel as news of impending move to The Hawthorns first surfaced. ?I always dreamed of running out at the Kop for Liverpool, but I suppose I have got the next best thing.?
Running out in front of the Celtic faithful, presumeably.
All of which will leave Mowbray still scratching around for his first signing of the summer and Glenn Roeder concentrating his thoughts on adding No2 to the pot after this week's arrival of midfielder Clingan.
Overnight and the whole Shola Ameobi saga was rekindled by the Daily Mail as the paper claimed that the Canaries were 'on the verge' of wrapping up a ?3.5 million deal for one of Roeder's 'most wanted…'
For now, however, Ameobi's whereabouts next season remained no more than the subject of fervent speculation. All-too familiar fervent speculation with nothing appearing to be immediately imminent on that front.
It will rumble ever on. Of that there is no doubt.
Indeed, certain reports suggest that the Canaries could be about to bump into Mr Mowbray again on their transfer travels with West Bromwich Albion now deemed a potential destination for the unwanted Ameobi. Either there or fellow top-flight new boys, Hull City.
The Hawthorns does, of course, have Premiership football on offer – which is one of Ameobi's big things. It also has a certain Ishmael Miller floating around the place. Not exactly dissimilar in either style or stature. Just about six years younger and without lingering hip concerns.
Hull is closer to his North-East roots; Middlesbrough closer still where boss Gareth Southgate has yet to make much of a splash in the summer transfer market.