City boss Bryan Gunn today suggested that he might be getting the hang of this transfer window thing as the club confirmed that Celtic's Chris Killen had, indeed, joined the Canaries on loan until the end of the season. Come in No9…
The 27-year-old Bhoys target man has struggled to force his way up the Parkhead pecking order this season – his quest for regular first team football not helped by three months on the sidelines with a knee injury.
But having worked that old Pittodrie magic with his ex-Dons team-mate Gordon Strachan, so the City chief was this afternoon able to welcome his second acquisition of the window through the door following last week's arrival of Aussie winger David Carney from Sheffield United.
“Chris' name has been mentioned to us in the past,” revealed Gunn, as today's news officially broke on the club's own website.
“And we felt that it was a good time to pursue the opportunity.
“Gordon Strachan gave Chris a glowing reference and other people who have come up against him have also been impressed with him.”
The strapping Kiwi international has both height and physique on his side – weighing in at a combative six foot tall, he ought to prove a far more natural, attacking foil for a Jamie Cureton or an Arturo Lupoli than the ever-willing Darel Russell whose natural habitat lies some 40-yards back down the pitch in central midfield.
It is a role that he could now return to at Molineux – bruised face permitting – given that skipper Mark Fotheringham is suspended for the game.
Gunn has, of course, still got Carl Cort up his sleeve. And, indeed, the 31-year-old former Newcastle United striker got another 46 minutes under his belt on Friday night as he replaced the injured Russell in the trip to the KeepMoat Stadium, Doncaster.
But doubts about his match sharpness still persist. And while that sharpness may well come with every extra minute of game-time he enjoys, the Canaries' predicament is such at the foot of the Championship table that they need a quick fix now; someone had to be bolted into the front of the City side sooner rather than later.
And while bitter experience of third-choice Rangers full-backs might leave one or two of the City faithful feeling rather wary of another Scottish import, needs sometimes must.
And, in fairness, you rarely stumble across a non-competitive New Zealander in professional sport. Like their Australian counterparts, they always relish a physical challenge.
“He will bring us something different to our forward line,” added Gunn. “He's a target man with good physique and height and a good football player who will fit into our system and style of play nicely.
“He has a good work ethic and and will also look to run in behind defences and we look forward to welcoming him at Carrow Road.”
Killen's arrival today could also once and for all kill off any lingering Canary interest in Rosenborg's Steffen Iversen.
The one-time Tottenham striker was once again linked to a switch to Norfolk with the Norwegian press suggesting that the club had already turned down a ?200,000 bid for Glenn Roeder's long-time transfer target.
Another bid was expected, according to the player's agent.
“We are expecting a new bid this weekend,” Iversen's agent Christian Eidem told newspapers.
The club's director of football Erik Hoftun was, however, insisting that Trondheim's favourite home-town boy was not for sale. Canary sources were likewise suggesting that Rosenborg's valuation on the player was far too rich for their liking.
And they didn't have too much time to waste on negotiations given that the transfer deadline was now little more than 24 hours distant. By when, in theory, Gunn would clearly like to have slammed another big centre-half of the Darren Purse mould into his thinking.
“We know we have many good players, but this mostly is about the timing,” Hoftun told the Norwegian press, as the Iversen story came and went for another transfer window.
“We are beginning a really important season for RBK. We want to return to the top of the league, moreover we have a good chance to enter the Champions League.
“This is the most important for us,” said Hoftun.
Whether Killen makes his debut away at Wolves on Tuesday night may yet depend on the speed with which the Scottish FA process his papers and, indeed, the weather as a Siberian blizzard gathers tonight over the North Sea.
The club did, however, confirm that the one-time Manchester City youngster would be handed the No9 shirt as befits his old-fashioned, centre-forward role.
That job done, all eyes now will be on that quest for a centre-half with Aberdeen's Zander Diamond linked to the Canaries in this morning's News Of The World.
City have also found themselves rumoured to be interested in Birmingham City's Gary O'Connor as another of Gunn's ex-Pittodrie pals – Blues boss Alex McLeish – offers a possible helping hand to the newest kid on the Championship's managerial block.
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