City fans may well have to wait until the final, midnight hour to see whether or not this transfer window yields fresh reinforcements.
Speaking after Saturday’s lame 0-0 draw with Newcastle – one that did, at least, feature a short return to frontline duty for much-missed skipper Grant Holt – boss Chris Hughton warned against expecting any early signing.
The January transfer window remains such a treacherous beast in terms of prices and availability that if the Canaries do, finally, prise something out of the market, it may yet be in the final hours of the month.
“We’ve made no offers at this moment,” was his simple response to the inevitable transfer window question; inevitable if only because minus both Holt and the still injured Steve Morison the Canaries continue to lack ‘bite’.
Fortunately in the meantime, the goals – if not the results – have come from elsewhere in the team.
Though it tells its own story when right now right-back Russell Martin is the biggest ‘danger man’ at the club goals-wise. It was he who came closest to breaking the weekend’s dire deadlock with a long-range effort that clipped an upright.
“A lot has been spoken about the forward areas because we haven’t perhaps scored the goals that we would have liked to,” Hughton admitted to BBC Radio Norfolk afterwards.
It wasn’t, he insisted, the only area of the squad that he was looking to strengthen – just the one that gets the most talked about. Be it in the post-match Press conferences or on the messageboards and social media circuit, striker and the need for is the only topic in town.
“We’re looking to strengthen full stop,” Hughton confirmed.
The trouble being, of course, that it is in the players’ agents best interests only to let their clients out to play transfer-wise in the final, frenzied hours of the window.
That’s when the big, fat fees are there to be had.
Those deals that are done early – witness Daniel Sturridge’s move back to the North-West with Liverpool – tend to be the ones that are deemed over-priced. Certainly by the more cautious boards.
And in Norwich’s case there will be fine judgement calls to be made; just how crucial is it to get any old player in now? Will we need to get a couple out before we can get a couple in squad numbers-wise? And could we save ourselves a minor fortune by waiting until the summer and placing our faith in the points already on the board and Holt’s return to duty?
It is those sort of questions that will be doing the rounds right now as everyone waits – and waits for the transfer merry-go-round to finally fire into life this winter.
“Players are generally not available and you’ve got to pay over the odds for them,” said Hughton. “And I’m sure like most clubs the last couple of weeks of the window could be hectic ones.”
Just how treacherous the market place can be this month was fast becoming evident tonight as Newcastle’s ‘successful’ £8.3 million bid for Marseille’s Loic Remy headed rapidly south – back down the A1 to QPR where the striker was now reported to be having a medical having, presumeably, been sweet-talked out of Alan Pardew’s hands by Harry Redknapp.
The club’s sporting director Jose Anigo told RTL television: “We at OM reached an agreement with Newcastle but we also talked with other English clubs. We gave them a working basis and it remains up to Loic to choose the club he prefers in terms of their structure or sporting plans.
“He is currently in England and is speaking with some clubs. Everyone talks about Newcastle but it is not just Newcastle, because he is talking with other clubs. We have done our job and players and agents must do theirs. Nothing is done.”
Players and their agents… Therein lies the catch.
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @norwichcityMFW