The Canaries today found themselves heavily linked with Shrewsbury's free-scoring target man Grant Holt as the summer rumour mill began to whirr into life.
City boss Bryan Gunn has already found himself linked to two, out-of-contract centre-halves – ex-Hartlepool skipper Michael Nelson and MK Dons defender Miguel Angel Llera.
Aged 28 and 29-years-old respectively, both fit the club's current needs to a 'T' in that neither will come with a transfer fee attached and both are of a decent, experienced age – and with at least one, full League One campaign behind them.
Much the same could be said for the 28-year-old Holt who finished the Shrews top-scorer in League Two last season with 20 strikes from his 43 league appearances. He also claimed five goals in the club's extraordinary 7-0 away win at Wycombe Wanderers in their Johnstone Paints Trophy clash last October.
Standing six-foot tall, Holt ticks many of the boxes that an Alan Lee might have brought to the party – only on half his wages, one suspects.
The only stumbling block will be Shrewsbury's demands fee-wise – Holt signed a three-year deal when he signed for boss Paul Simpson last summer for ?170,000, a Shrews club record.
It proved a smart piece of business by Simpson as Holt's goals blasted Town into that League Two play-off final against Gillingham in which the Kent side proved victorious.
It could yet, however, be the case that Holt makes it into League One without his current employers as Shrewsbury and Simpson agree to cash in now on their star strike asset whilst he still has two years of his current contract to run.
“That's in an ideal world,” said Gunn, quizzed as to whether he would like to have the bulk of his squad in place in time for the start of pre-season fitness testing on June 29.
Pre-season training proper starts on July 2; a day after the club's traditional appearance at the Royal Norfolk Show.
“Where are we now, the end of May? A lot of people are now away on holiday, so I can't see it happening,” said the City chief.
“You'd obviously like to get the basis of your squad together in time for the pre-season tour to Scotland, but there's a lot of work to be done between now and then.”
Not least in working out what sort of transfer budget he will have at his disposal – or rather how much, exactly, will be coming out of Michael Foulger's own pockets as the great rebate debate continues this summer.
That, in turn, will then dictate how competitive Norwich can be in this summer's market wages-wise.
For if Holt is, indeed, on their 'Most Wanted' list, City are unlikely to be alone.
Hard-working, six-foot centre-forwards that not only have a prolific eye for goal, but have also got a decent grasp of link-up play are few and far between these days.
Gunn will also have a little 'insider' knowledge on Holt given that Shrews keeper is a certain Matty Gilks – formerly one of Gunn's goalkeeping pupils at Colney.
City No2 Ian Butterworth enjoys a similar close link to Pools' captain Michael Nelson having coached him for a number of seasons at Victoria Park; luckless ex-Canary winger Luke Chadwick could tip The Gaffer the wink about Llera in the small world that football remains. Particularly at Football League level.
But the same arguments could apply at nigh-on every club with Charlton, for example, reported to be firmly in the queue for Llera's services – their cause hampered, however, by the fact that Phil Parkinson's managerial future remains as yet undecided following the Addicks' own fall from Championship grace.
It is a sign of these troubled times that Doncaster – also linked to Llera's signature – could prove the bigger 'pull' as they at least offer a Championship stage for the free agent Spaniard.
All of which will apply to Holt – if the 'word' is now out that the Shrews are looking to cash in on their star turn.
“I'm very conscious that when we do speak to people we've got to make the right impression,” admitted Gunn last week.
Despite the fact that the club currently have neither a chairman nor a chief executive in place following the recent exits of both Roger Munby and Neil Doncaster, the re-installed City chief foresaw no problems transfer-wise.
“I'm in constant dialogue with Delia, Michael [Wynn Jones] and Michael Foulger,” he said. “Obviously, there'll be certain discussions that I'll be having that I know they'll be happy to join in with and, hopefully, make it a smooth transition for any player that we might be looking to bring in.”
That Gunn needs a hard-working target-man type is not in doubt. With Carl Cort having been released early from his contract and the likelihood of Lee being prised out of Crystal Palace with any ease disappearing with every passing week, so the City chief would be left with just Chrissy Martin to turn to.
Clearly the need is to find a foil for Cody McDonald to work off and the hard-working Holt might be the man. The fact that he also scored goals for Nottingham Forest in his first spell in League One would equally help when it came to the 'due diligence' Norwich desperately require on any new arrival.
But – and it remains this summer's biggest 'but' – they won't be the only show in town.
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