City boss Glenn Roeder this morning rubbished overnight reports linking him to a ?450,000 swoop for Celtic misfit Chris Killen – as he gave every indication that Steffen Iversen firmly remained top of his 'Most Wanted' list.
The Canary chief also hit out at the whole international friendly circus – with Northern Ireland's bruising, mid-week encounter with Scotland looking set to cost him the services of midfielder Sammy Clingan for tomorrow's trip to Cardiff City.
“Obviously a Sammy's a big doubt,” said Roeder, with Clingan picking up a shin injury for his international troubles at Hampden Park.
With Roeder's transfer market frustrations building, the loss of his holding midfielder to a warm-up game hardly improved his pre-Cardiff mood.
“To be honest, I think a lot of these international friendlies are a waste of time – what are we doing playing international friendlies in August? Fortunately, I don't think Sammy is seriously injured and he's not definitely ruled out of Saturday's game – but he's a massive doubt.”
What wasn't in doubt was Roeder's non-interest in six-foot Kiwi striker Killen – whose relationship with Bhoys boss Gordon Strachan came under fresh strain when he decided to go against the manager's wishes and join New Zealand's Olympic football squad in China.
Given Norwich's glaring need for such a target man figure, two plus two was busily making four north of the border. Back in Norfolk and as far as Roeder was concerned it made five, six, seven or eight. His heart belonged to another – someone he has now been trailing for three months.
As for Killen, Roeder's response left little room for doubt. “Absolute… nonsense,” he said. “I was going to say something beginning with 'b', but there are ladies here.
“There hasn't been [a bid], and there won't be.”
It was clear that Roeder's thoughts remained fixed on events across the North Sea at Rosenborg – to the extent that the result of their UEFA Cup second round clash with the Swedish side Djurgaardens next Thursday night is already on his radar. The result of that could be “significant”.
“There's a European game going on this week which we could do with the team getting beat in and going out of Europe – it would help significantly,” said the Canary chief, at pains not to get dragged into a war of words with the club concerned lest it make his life even more difficult.
The City boss didn't even name names or name clubs, but every piece of information fitted with his summer-long pursuit of the former Spurs striker whose English wife is reportedly keen for a move home.
“I really, really see this as the last major piece of the jigsaw this current season. Yes, there might be a few more loans through the course of the season, but had we had this guy already then I think we would have been sitting here talking about three wins rather than two defeats and a draw.”
Roeder has already muttered before about 'broken promises' – what that promise was today became clear.
“They made a promise to the lad that if an English club comes forward, he could move. And, basically, they've not kept a promise. They're now saying he can't. It's nothing to do with finances.”
For a further clue, Roeder said the player was “super, super fit” because he's been “playing a lot of football.
“And there's not too many leagues that have been playing right through the summer…”
Roeder has, of course, had one famed marksman in his midst for much of the week. The prospect of veteran marksman Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink returning to haunt Peter Ridsdale and Co after their bitter summer fall-out was, however, nil.
“He's not even here,” said Roeder, insisting that a short-term move for the 36-year-old Dutchman was “not even on the radar”. He was, however, expected back at Colney next week for another three days of training.
“He was here Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and I think he's coming back next week for another three days,” said the City chief. “He's really enjoying it and he feels that his fitness has increased greatly in just the three days he's had with us. But I think he had business on yesterday and is back in Cardiff today before moving back to London.”
Roeder did, however, confirm that he was having a very positive impact on proceedings; that there was, indeed, something of the Dions about the way that the former Chelsea ace conducted himself around the club's younger strikers.
“Despite how tough and mean he looks when he plays, he's a very, very nice gentleman. A little, if you like, like Dion – a very lovely human being.
“And I think he's been good for the younger strikers – like Arturo [Lupoli] and OJ [Koroma]. And even Cureton – he passed some nice comments about Jimmy. And in the small-sided games that we've had, he's scored plenty of goals. There's nothing wrong with that right foot – that's still working. Even at 36.
“But I don't want to talk about if there's any possibility of him joining us. It's not on the radar at the moment. We're just helping him out – and in his own way, he's helping us out.”
As for tomorrow's likely line-up, notwithstanding Clingan's international knock, City's leading – stroke only – goalscorer was all set to get his due reward against the Bluebirds.
“That would be the obvious thing – I just think it would be very hard to keep Darel Russell out of the starting line-up full-stop…”