City boss Bryan Gunn this morning gave a very straight-forward answer to a very straight-forward question.
Was his No1 priority for the next six hours securing the services of a big, strapping centre-half?
“Yes,” he said simply.
Overnight the Canary boss had staged a second Auld Firm loan raid to bolt Rangers' Alan Gow in alongside Celtic's Chris Killen. The attacking midfielder – courted by both the Canaries last summer and Wolves this season – is currently heading for Birmingham Airport where he intends to team up with his new Canary employers ahead of tomorrow night's trip to Wolves.
Like Killen, much will depend on whether or not his international clearance arrives in time. That and the weather.
In the meantime, however, Gunn has just a few hours left to try and prise a centre-half out of someone's hands. The News Of The World touted Aberdeen's Zander Diamond as a possibility; Fulham's Australian defender Adrian Leijer has been another name linked to the vacancy.
And then, of course, there is Darren Purse. Even at this late hour, the new Canary chief wasn't ruling the Bluebirds skipper out of his thoughts despite the fact that Cardiff themselves have insisted that no-one is going anywhere this window unless a sure-fire replacement is already in the building.
“We have had a chat with Cardiff,” Gunn admitted. “And obviously their circumstances probably make it difficult.
“But, as I said the other day, it's a long time to five o'clock.”
The fact that Purse was called upon to be a 71st minute substitute for Gabor Gyepes in their 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest clearly doesn't help Norwich's cause.
“Things can change – I'm not going to give up on anything,” he vowed, with the ?500,000 David Bell money still, in part, at his disposal. Loan fees and wages for both Killena and Gow will have already eaten their way into the manager's slender resources.
“And I'm not going to admit to anything either,” said Gunn, as he kept his latest transfer thoughts firmly to himself.
“Probably at five past five you can all phone me and I'll tell you exactly what's happened,” he added, with the City chief to be found in deepest Dartford on Saturday afternoon casting one last eye over 22-year-old Darts striker Cody McDonald. That, too, looks a runner – albeit on firmly in the 'one for the future…' bracket.
In the meantime, there was the added question of players moving out – Lee Croft and Arturo Lupoli would be the top two likely targets.
“I've not had any phone-calls as of yet,” said Gunn, with Lupoli's general body language at the KeepMoat Stadium on Friday night suggesting that all was not well with the on-loan Fiorentina striker.
The arrival of both Killen and Gow is likely to leave him looking ever more for a way out. And with Gunn this morning vowing that his petulent outbursts at Rovers would be 'dealt with within the dressing room', the City boss himself might welcome a phone-call from abroad.
“We've had nothing yet – but, again, that can change very quickly,” he said.
As for Gow's arrival, it had taken a while…
“I'm delighted that he's joined us,” said Gunn, well aware of the Scottish B international's character having given him the full guided tour of Colney and Carrow Road in the summer.
Terms and deal all agreed, the 26-year-old's proposed switch to Norfolk fell down at the eleventh hour due to 'unforeseen circumstances'. A belated change of heart by then boss Glenn Roeder was one suggestion. A call from Bloomfield Road then awaited.
“There was a number of clubs after him; he's already played in the Championship this season for Blackpool scoring five or six goals – and that ended up with Mick McCarthy making a bid for him and trying to make it a permanent move to Wolves,” added Gunn.
“I don't know what happened with the transfer, but we're delighted to have him at Norwich until the end of the season.”
As for that earlier visit to Norfolk, the Canary chief admitted that it was all-but a done deal. “He didn't turn it down – no,” he said.
“His part of the deal was all agreed. I'll let you decide what the other reasons were for the transfer not happening.
“But Alan had a good look around; I looked after him for a day. He's seen the facilities; he's seen the stadium; agreed his terms. And unforeseen circumstances…”