Glenn Roeder added another piece to his Norwich City jigsaw this afternoon after completing the signing of David Bell from Luton Town on a three-year deal.
The Canaries reportedly had to fend off late interest from Coventry City for the versatile midfielder, who Roeder has been tracking for several months but it seems the ?750,000 deal City struck to land the 24-year-old was enough to rule the Sky Blues out of the running.
Having spent much of last season on loan at Leicester, Bell was expected to make a permanent move to the Walkers Stadium but their relegation to League One saw them drop out of the race for his signature.
With Luton desperate to balance the books and get the player off their wage bill, several other Championship suitors came forward but Roeder's powers of persuasion gave him and the Canaries the edge.
“David is a player, like others we have secured this summer, who we've been following for some time,” Roeder told the official Norwich City website. “We've tracked David's progress over the last season and we've been impressed with his spell on loan at Leicester in difficult circumstances for that club.”
Bell's arrival is likely to put pressure on Lee Croft's place in the City starting XI although the former Manchester City man responded in the best way possible last night by netting in the 3-0 win at FF Falkenbergs.
While Croft's goal was a timely reminder of the quality he can provide from the flanks, Roeder expects Bell to bring genuine competition for places if he starts to fulfil the potential he displayed as a youngster at Rushden.
“He will add quality to our midfield from wide areas and I am fully expecting David's career to now fulfil the potential he first showed at Rushden as a young player,” added Roeder, whose best laid plans are finally starting to bear fruit after the whole Peter Cullum takeover saga.
With that deal apparently dead, Roeder is once again well aware of his brief ? there won't be any multi-million pound spending but there is enough in the transfer kitty to avoid a repeat of last season's relegation struggle.
Having had a little too much experience of life at the wrong end of the Championship table for his liking with Luton and Leicester, Bell is looking forward to the season ahead where he hopes the Canaries can challenge at the right end of the table.
“It's a brilliant opportunity for me and I can't wait to get going – I am delighted to be here and looking forward to playing my part in what will be an exciting season, with Norwich City hopefully challenging for promotion to the Premier League.”
Meanwhile, one player who does not look like heading for the Norfolk outfit is Coventry striker Michael Mifsud after Bristol City had an offer accepted for the Maltese international.
With new arrival Arturo Lupoli and Jamie Cureton more than adequately fulfilling the diminutive striker brief, it seems rumours linking the Canaries with the Sky Blues front man were wide of the mark and Roeder will be on the lookout for a target man in the Dion Dublin mould.