City chief Glenn Roeder will face a real test of his transfer resolve over the next few days as this summer's transfer window prepares to slam shut on the striker-light Canaries.
On the one hand does he hold out and hold out for the certain someone that he wants; on the other, does recognise that sometimes needs must and looks to haul in anyone who can fill that last, big hole in his 2008-2009 jigsaw?
Speaking ahead of last weekend's trip to Cardiff, Roeder appeared intent on sticking with the big someone he wants; not settling for second or third best – not after he has spent the better part of the summer trying to get the one that he wants.
Never mentioned by name, every finger points to that certain someone being Rosenborg's Steffen Iverssen. The hint at Ninian Park was that there was another iron in the fire, but again was this a sign that the Canary chief was lowering his sights having found the Norwegian club all-too resolute in their determination to hold onto their home-town hero?
“I think we have to,” was Roeder's response last week, quizzed as to whether he could afford to wait and wait for Mr Right.
The alternative, he suggested, was to buy in haste and regret it at his leisure – be lumbered with a player that, in his heart of hearts, he didn't really fancy.
“What is the point of bringing in a body, putting him in a Norwich City shirt and then after two games be left thinking: 'What have you done bringing him here?'”
There are any number of players down the years for whom that description would fit. In the big striker mould, ex-Sunderland striker Chris Brown at least looked willing; David Strihavka, by contrast, looked a fish out of water from the moment that he walked through the doors at Colney.
And nor did the Czech target man come cheap, either. It was one of several moves in the transfer market that ex-Canary boss Peter Grant came to regret at his leisure.
“This is not a question of just filling the space,” said Roeder. “We have to believe in the player – that he can do a very, very important job.
“I really, really see this as the last major piece of the jigsaw for this current season. Yes, there'll be a couple more loans during the course of the season, but had we had this guy already, I think we would have been sitting here talkign about three wins…”
But for Arturo Lupoli's late heroics last Saturday, the Canaries would have been staring three defeats in the face from their opening four games; with just the one point in the bag from that 1-1 draw with Blackpool – and all with Darel Russell slammed in up-front to do a job while the 'big man' turned up – and the pressure will have really been mounting ahead of this weekend's home clash with early pace-setters Birmingham City.
Roeder's hopes that Rosenborg might drop their guard a little – particularly if their UEFA Cup campaign ends tomorrow night against Djurgaarden – look to be fading.
Whatever the final score in the second leg – and given the Norwegian's having already bagged the InterToto Cup this summer and grabed a priceless away goal in their 2-1 first leg defeat a fortnight ago, you'd still have them in the driving seat to go through tomorrow night – Mr Hoftun seemed as resolute as ever as the Rosenborg chief spoke to the Eastern Daily Press this week.
“The situation is – it's off,” Hoftun told the EDP.
“We are not going to sell Steffen. He is the best striker we have and we have not found a replacement for him, therefore we cannot sell him. We can't sell him in the middle of the season. It has to be the correct time and the correct price.”
Both of which are unlikely to be to Norwich's liking – the end of the Norwegian season is still some two months distant. An awful long time for Russell to be left doing a job up front. And while Lupoli's confidence might be soaring following his weekend frolics, Jamie Cureton's will have taken another big hit with that eighth minute penalty miss.
The man from Rosenborg appeared not for turning, however. Iversen's Englih-born wife could have another long, Norwegian winter to look forward to.
“We will not change our minds,” Hoftun, repeated to the EDP. “We cannot do this. Steffen is a very important player for us. There are a lot more games left in our season and we have no choice.
“The fact is, we can talk again at the end of our season. That is what I have told Norwich. Maybe we will be prepared to sell him then.”
Bolton's Heidar Helguson has popped up on the radar of late; he actually started the Trotters' Caling Cup clash with Northampton Town at the Reebok last night – Wanderers duly lost 2-1 amid all the usual 'Second string…' accusations.
Whether that will persuade Gary Megson that the time was nigh to cash-in the 31-year-old Icelander is another matter. At 5ft 10in tall, it is a moot point whether he fits the 'big target man' billing; though – like Iversen – he is widely admired for his heading ability.
The other fly in that ointment may be other suitors. Norwich are not the only ones a big striker light – Crystal Palace were long reported to be on Iversen's case, while down the road and if Ipswich's summer-long chase of Shola Ameobi has hit the medical buffers, they too will be in the same market-place as Roeder.
For having got Kevin Lisbie up and running goals-wise, Town boss Jim Magilton is known to want someone other than Alan Lee alongside him. Nothing is going to be straight-forward in Norwich's quest for that last and final piece of the jigsaw.
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