And so it started…. Jason Shackell's exit for Championship leaders Wolves was all but confirmed by the Molineux club this morning as a day of potentially frantic transfer activity kicked into life.
Canary chief Glenn Roeder revealed after Saturday's 1-1 draw with Birmingham City that the two clubs had agreed an 'undisclosed' fee for the 24-year-old former Canary skipper.
And, sure enough, having travelled to Wolverhampton to discuss his persona terms, there was a picture of Shackell shaking Mick McCarthy's hand on the official Wolves website this morning.
“Jason is young, ambitious and just the kind of player we are looking for,” McCarthy, told www.wolves.co.uk.
“He's 6ft 4in tall, left-sided and will give us added competition for places. I'm very pleased to have him join us.”
Chief executive Jez Moxey confirmed the fact that Wolves had been tracking Shackell's movements this summer; like most they recognised that the summer arrival of Dejan Stefanovic would make Shackell's hopes of regular first team football slightly harder to come by. And once Roeder bolted on both John Kennedy and Spurs reserve skipper Troy Archibald-Henville to his thinking, so the Canaries might well have a centre-half 'going spare'.
“We have been monitoring Jason for some time now and, subject to him successfully completing his medical, I'm delighted that he is going to be joining us on a four-year deal.”
Those last three words explain a lot too – a four-year deal is a big incentive for the newly-married Shackell to start a new life in the West Midlands; as opposed to trying to prise Stefanovic out of Roeder's thinking.
Having won and lost the captaincy last season, you always sensed that all parties might be best served by a fresh start and with the Canary boss now able to slap that money into his own transfer plans over the next 12 hours so Shackell's exit may well be good news for all concerned.
The irony is that it was at Wolves where his Carrow Road career hit one of its lowest ebbs as the then Canary skipper saw red in the God-awful 2-0 away defeat at Molineux that merely confirmed that Peter Grant's managerial reign was on a rocky road to nowhere.
Certainly the captaincy never sat easily on Shackell's shoulders; it was a burden that he was possibly never designed to bear; that rather than simply concentrating on his own game, it suffered as he tried to concentrate on everyone else's.
With form and fortune slipping away from him, it came as no surprise to find Roeder making a left-sided centre-half one of his first priorities this summer. And with Stefanoivc enjoying a real 'leader of men' reputation following his spell skippering Portsmouth, so the one-time Canary Academy product would always struggle to step out of the Serb's shadow.
Roeder meanwhile made it clear that should Shackell's exit be confirmed, he would add a further centre-half onto today's shopping list.
A list that is, however, dominated by that quest to find the last, missing piece in his jigsaw – that strapping centre-forward.
Despite the Daily Mail and others claiming that Bolton's Icelandic international Heidar Helguson was en route, there was no immediate sign of the 31-year-old arriving on the reported year-long loan.
The club to keep a beady eye on may well be Newcastle where turmoil continues to reign supreme – and where Shola Ameobi continues to look the spare part.
Handed a starting role in United's miserable 3-0 defeat at The Emirates this weekend, it cast the 'failed medical' reasoning behind his aborted ?2.4 million switch to Ipswich Town in a new and interesting light.
Wit Alan Smith's proposed move to Everton re-surfacing, Toon chief Kevin Keegan appeared to have made one significant move in the striker market when a Deportivo La Coruna website had Majorcan striker 'Xisco' en route to Tyneside today for a medical.
Francisco Jiminez Tejada is a former Spanish Under-21 forward who ought to give Keegan more attacking options and – by the same token – ought to give him more reasons to bundle Ameobi out of the door.
Certainly that wouldbe the way that both lub owner Mike Ashley and his right-hand transfer man Dennis Wise would view proceedings.
With Ipswich having parted company with Alan Lee over the weekend and Ameobi having seemingly over-come the 'hamstring trouble' that delayed his switch to Suffolk, it could be a very interesting 12 hours for the 26-year-old. Especially if Roeder now has the Shacks cash to splash.
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