With the US tour in full swing – City face San Jose Earthquake tonight (3:30AM BST) – transfer rumours continue abound with Argentinian Maxi Lopez the latest to be linked with a move to Carrow Road.
Having reportedly missed out on Juventus striker Fabio Quagliarella, rumours emanating from Sky Italia suggest that Chris Hughton’s attention has now turned to the Catania striker who spent last season on loan at Sampdoria.
At 6” 1’ and 29 years-old, the Argentinian – who has spells at River Plate and Barcelona on his CV – cuts a not dissimilar figure to the Juventus man, both of whom possess a one-in-three goalscoring ratio in Italy.
With Serie A the latest hunting ground in City’s search for a striker, Hughton and Ewan Chester look to have identified the ability to score in the rarefied atmosphere of Serie A as a good fit in the Premier League.
Whether this one has legs or is yet another that comes to nothing remains to be seen, but it is clear that more new faces will appear before the season begins in precisely four weeks.
In terms of outgoings, rumours earlier in the week suggested David Fox to be the subject of interest from Burnley, although this one was in truth of the very unofficial variety.
With the former Colchester man being only on the fringes last term it would be both understandable and unsurprising if a glut of Championship clubs were interested in the talented playmaker; the arrival of Leroy Fer in theory pushing Fox further down the pecking order in the battle for the centre-mid positions.
Another in a similar position is Andrew Surman. While used at left-back in the friendly at Sacramento it’s hard to see the former Wolves man forcing his way into the Hughton midfield, particularly with the diamond almost consigned to history.
While not blessed with blistering pace, Surman possesses a fine footballing brain with technique to match, and is why – when operating the diamond – he was the ideal left-sided option; the need to ‘tuck in and pick a pass’ suiting him to a T.
One who has looks to be on his way out is Leon Barnett, with Hughton confirming to the Eastern Daily Press his non-appearance on the US tour to be a direct result of his desire to seek first-team football: “That is simply the only reason we have not brought Leon out here to America. He is a good trainer, he works hard every day and I have no problems on that score but certainly at this moment he is not one that would be in my plans for the season”.
Interestingly, with Daniel Ayala now back at Carrow Road, and with Michael Turner and Sebastien Bassong still being carefully nursed back from injuries sustained at the back end of last season, the Spaniard currently looks set fair to be given a shot at one of the central-back slots.
Certainly, for as long as City’s search for defensive reinforcements remains fruitless, there will be no better opportunity for Ayala to prove his credentials; the Spaniard, having spent all of last season on loan at the City Ground.
For those wanting to see Ayala, Fox and Surman, in addition to the City debuts of Messrs Fer, van Wolfswinkel, Nash and Olsson, the official San Jose Earthquake website is streaming live coverage of tonight’s match.
Set your alarm clocks…