Norwich City's No2 Lee Clark is, indeed, poised to join Huddersfield Town today as their new manager as the Canaries preparations for tonight's key Championship clash with Watford were hit for six.
The Terriers' local paper, The Huddersfield Examiner, led the way this morning – insisting that the Yorkshire club have now approached the Canaries to secure Clark's services.
Indeed, the paper even added more flesh to the bones – suggesting that the much-travelled Derek Fazackerley had already been lined-up to be Clark's No2.
An hour later and the Canaries duly stood up the Examiner's story – that after going to such lengths last week to dismiss the initial rumours, Canary boss Glenn Roeder now had to find a new member of his backroom staff.
That particular process was well on its way as Clark headed off up the A1; his long-held ambitions to be his own boss about to be realised – subject to the two parties agreeing terms.
“I always knew from day one when I first appointed Lee as Reserve team coach at Newcastle how ambitious he was to become a manager one day – probably sooner rather than later,” Roeder told the official site.
Whether he had quite so soon in mind is another matter; 12 months later and he's away…
Last week and Roeder was particularly adament that there was nothing afoot; that this particular whiff of smoke had no fire attached.
“How these irritating stories start I do not know,” Roeder told the club's official website last week.
“I have a very good relationship with Lee – if he was about to join any other club I would know a long time before it got into the media. This is just wild speculation – and it is very unhelpful.”
That was all said in the run-up to this weekend's derby clash with Ipswich; the timing of such 'stories' clearly, therefore, doing little to help City's preparations for such a crunch game.
The fact that City are due in Vicarage Road tonight for a key game against one of their fellow strugglers will also find today's news sat in the 'ill-timed' tray – the 'Clark question' will inevitably figure in the post-match Press conference; all necks and eyes will be trained to see whether there is a new and as yet unfamiliar face on the touchline.
“At the time those stories appeared there was no truth in the speculation at all,” Roeder insisted today. “In the last few days, however, Huddersfield have formally asked for permission to speak to Lee which, after chatting to him and to the board, we agreed to do.
“We made it clear that we would expect compensation for a man of Lee's experience and potential – and that has been agreed.”
Coincidence or not, there were also reports that former Newcastle United reserve boss Adam Sadler might have been sounded out for a potential role at Colney.
Sadler was originally earmarked to join 'Team Glenn' last season, but after Clark's exit to Norfolk the much-regarded Newcastle Youth coach was handed the Reserve team gig in Clark's stead and Roeder disappeared off to Hartlepool to prise Paul Stephenson out of a similar role at the Victoria Ground.
Sadler is, however, now without a job since September after being bundled out of the door at St James' Park along with the long-serving Terry McDermott as Joe Kinnear's new broom swept through Tyneside.
If such reports are true then 'Team Glenn' could be back up to strength by the end of the week; it might also help facilitate Clark's exit, if Roeder felt he had a ready-made replacement on hand – albeit not necessarily as a straight new No2. Today's goings and potential comings could herald a whole, new look to the structure at Colney.
Clark has never made any secret of his ambition to be his own boss one day and was widely-linked to the vacant Carlisle United position earlier this autumn.
The feeling remained, however, that the 36-year-old would stay loyally by his mentor's side and complete his managerial 'apprenticeship' under Roeder's tutelage; that thought ended today as Clark proved a young man in a distinct hurry as League One beckoned.
“I have been preparing for this day for a period of time now,” said Roeder. “So consequently I do have plans already made for a new man to come in to replace Lee.
“That will happen very quickly but we won't be making an announcement about that for another day or so. I just want to say I truly hope that Lee goes on to fulfill his ultimate ambition by one day managing Newcastle United – any Geordie's dream.”
The pair would, said Roeder, “continue to be friends”.