The pace of City’s summer transfer activity racked up another notch this weekend as Canary strike target Steve Morison slapped in a transfer request at Millwall after the Lions allegedly twice rejected Norwich’s bid for his services.
The 27-year-old frontman has, therefore, decided to take matters into his own hands and – despite having two years to run on a new deal at the New Den – has now formally declared his intention to get-away this summer.
All of which should, in theory, shorten the odds on Morison becoming the second major signing of the summer for City boss Paul Lambert following last night’s arrival of Everton 22-year-old James Vaughan.
Morison, on duty with Wales this week in the Carling Nations Cup tournament in Dublin, is clearly determined to try his luck in the Premier League.
Like Canary skipper Grant Holt, he knows that such opportunities rarely present themselves to part-time footballers who once shredded paper for a living in his case; fitted tyres by day in the case of Holt.
“Norwich have made a couple of bids that have been turned down so I’ve done what I’ve done,” Morison told the Press this weekend.
“I want to play in the Premier League – I might not get another opportunity.”
What is fascinating about the Morison story is how much it echoes that of Holt, Russell Martin, David Fox and Andrew Crofts – in that all have suffered set-backs in their early footballing careers and all have bounced back with a vengeance.
So just as newly-capped Scottish international Russell Martin – reportedly in line for his first start tomorrow night against the Republic of Ireland – once found himself playing non-league football with Lewes and Fox was let go by Manchester United as a teenager, so Morison’s first stab at pro football with Northampton ended in disappointment.
Lengthy spells at first Bishop’s Stortford and then Stevenage Borough would loom. But as the goals kept coming for the six-foot two-inch bustling striker so did the interest – finally leading to that £130,000 switch to South London in the summer of 2009.
Since then, Morison has bagged 40 goals for the Lions – including 17 in the Championship this season.
The other point to note is that – like Holt – the lad plays games. His outing for Wales in the 2-0 win over Nigel Worthington’s Northern Ireland was his 50th competitive appearance of the season. But for a red card in the 0-0 home draw with Bristol City towards the end of the campaign, he could have all-but played every game for Kenny Jackett’s play-off hopefuls.
Strong, competitive and with a keen eye for goal, Morison looks like a Lambert ‘player’ all over. And it would start to give the Canary chief real strength in depth in his forward department as Morison and Vaughan are added to the likes of Holt, Simeon Jackson and Chrissy Martin.
Given Vaughain is quick and sharp – and five-foot nine – and Morison is a rangy, six-footer, it could be argued that Lambert now has his sights set a second Holt-Jackson combo.
The question now is whether Millwall will be forced back to the negotiating table by Morison’s decision to slap in a transfer request. A game is a-foot, it would appear.
“The Premier League is where everyone wants to play and I want to try to take it if they [Millwall] let me,” said Morison.
“I have put in a transfer request and we’ll see what happens, it is out of my hands now.”
In a short statement issued on their official website yesterday, Millwall confirmed that they had received a written transfer request from their star striker – but it had been rejected.
‘Millwall can confirm that the club has received a written transfer request from Welsh international Steve Morison,’ it read. ‘This request has been rejected.’
The club go on to point out that Morison agreed a new deal at The New Den as recently as February and is under contract with the Lions through to June 2013. Jackett is not playing ball. Not yet, at least.
Because everyone is about to discover whether or not that contract is worth the paper it is written on – and whether the one-time paper shredder’s quest for Premier League football will, in the end, force their hand sale-wise.