City boss Bryan Gunn this afternoon left the door wide open for a return of last season's loan star Ched Evans.
He – like 23 other Championship managers – would love to bolt the 20-year-old Welsh international striker into his plans between now and the end of the season.
And having picked up a new mobile phone courtesy of the club's new tie-in with the Digital Phone Company, he would dearly love Mark Hughes to ring.
As would new Nottingham Forest boss Billy Davies – linked to a move for Evans in yesterday's Daily Mail. As would Cardiff City's Dave Jones. The list of likely admirers as the business end of the season hoves into view will go on and on and on.
Whether Gunn's powers of persuasion – and the fact that Evans has all-but already saved the Canaries from the drop once with his goal-scoring efforts last season – would be enough for the Norfolk club to win any race for his signature is another matter.
Likewise, there is no definite guarantee that Hughes will let Evans come out to play in this particular 'emergency' loan window. The powerful City striker has been a regular fixture on the Eastlands bench even if ex-Canary Craig Bellamy and a clutch of moody Brazilians are now ahead of him in the first team queue.
“There's a three-week window now and we've not given up on having new faces at the club,” confirmed Gunn, speaking as he re-launched the club's tie with their one-time principal shirt sponsors this afternoon.
“And I'm working closely with [chief executive] Neil Doncaster and the board of directors and if we can identify anyone or any areas in the squad where we need strengthening, then I'm sure I'll get the backing of the directors.”
One man and his Championship dog have long ago identified Evans as a player more than capable of making a big impact at this level; that particular secret is out courtesy of his impact in a Canary shirt this time last year.
“I think Ched has been linked with every club in the Championship – and, probably, a few in the Premier League as well,” Gunn said wryly, offering no immediate prospect of 'Evans The Goal' packing his bags for Colney again.
“And, yes, he would be one that if he was available and Manchester City were willing to let him out for the remainder of the season we would be interested in Ched Evans.”
As ever, there was a 'but'. City won't be the only show in town.
“But, as I say, there will be lots of clubs that would be interested – and it'll be Manchester City that will make that decision. And not me.”
The fact that a certain M Bowen is still by Hughes' side at Eastlands and he knows that his star young charge will be in the hands of Messrs Gunn, Butterworth, Crook and Deehan should he ever consider a return might help. But there are clearly 101 ifs, buts and maybes to the whole Evans chase.
That everyone will be looking for one last spin on the transfer merry-go-round is not in doubt. There remains all manner of twists and turns to come.
“I think every team in the bottom ten will be looking to strengthen,” said Gunn. “To freshen up their squad and look to get faces in that maybe help them get away from that relegation area.
“And there'll also be teams in the top area of the Championship that will be looking to strengthen their squad to, hopefully, get themselves into the promotion race and get themselves into the Premier League.
“So I would imagine that every club in our division would be wanting the likes of a Ched Evans in their squad. But there are other players out there that we'd be interested in as well. But its down to each of the clubs to make that decision – whether they are going to let them out.
“But we'll keep making phone calls and hope that we will strike it lucky with one or two of them.”
Today's new tie-in with the Digital Phone Company is designed to offer City supporters great deals on their home telephone, broadband and mobile phones.
The 'Canary Telecom' scheme enables Canaries' fans to sign up for line rental deals with competitive call and broadband tariffs or a mobile phone contract. The package can also include a special Norwich City branded handset.
Like the Norwich & Peterborough Building Sociey 'Canary Account', there is a profit-share element to today's latest affiliate deal.
“We have worked very closely in the past with the Digital Phone Company,” said the City chief, to be found this afternoon transferring sme 900 contacts into the memory of his new phone.
“And this new project that we've got going with them will, hopefully, encourage fans to take up the great offers on show and obviously the football club will benefit from extra money in the coffers.
“And, in the long run, the manager will benefit because it will be more money towards his transfer budget.”
Digital Phone Company managing director Phil Rider added: “This represents a great deal for everyone, whilst at the same time offering Canaries' fans the opportunity to contribute financially to the Club, without cost to themselves, through the profit share that DPC has agreed with City.”
Supporters wishing to sign-up to either a Canary Telecom mobile or broadband deal should log onto www.canarytelecom.co.uk or call 084 5000 6001.
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