The amount of tweets aimed at David McNally asking ‘if any transfer news is pending’ never ceases to amaze.
Are we really expecting Macca to reply with an affirmative, giving us the name, transfer fee and contract details of the next bright young thing to be heading our way?
In reality, the best anyone can hope for is a ‘wait and see’ or, a la the unveiling of Leroy Fer, ‘there may be some news later’, but for some of our number this is clearly not enough.
Where once we had a CEO who made himself available to the Yellow Army by parking himself on the corner of the River End pre-match, and who responded to emails galore, we now have a 21st century version who is more than happy to engage supporters via Twitter.
That McNally takes the time to respond to some of the questions asked of him should be applauded, especially given how precious his time is in the confines of a transfer window.
Predictably, over the last few days, the amount of tweets he’s had to field that contained the words Hooper and #NCFC has reached something of a crescendo.
As the prolonged saga of Gary Hooper looks finally to be nearing its end game – Sky Sports News reporting that QPR are ‘closing in’ – we may be able to soon rest easy in the knowledge that ‘Hooper’ and ‘Norwich’ in the same sentence will be consigned to history.
Amen to that.
However laudable the Duke of Cambridge’s desire to later remind his new born son ’of his ‘tardiness’, when compared to the Hooper saga the wait for the arrival of HRH Prince George of Cambridge almost pales into insignificance.
As relieved as we’ll all be to see an end to it, how many of us will find the feeling of indifference replaced by one of ambivalence? Chris Hughton clearly wanted Hooper, and is clearly convinced that he could do a job at the top level.
It remains to be seen if City have ‘dodged a bullet’, as some seem to be suggesting. Indeed, if Shepherd’s Bush does become his next stop it could be some time before we find out either way, with Hooper already a proven goalscorer at Championship level but QPR far from guaranteed a swift return to the land of milk and honey.
[As I write, BBC Sport is reporting that City are considering matching QPR’s bid. Hhmm…]
With City’s quest for a goalscorer to share the burden with Ricky van Wolfswinkel showing little sign of abating, the name Matej Vydra has again resurfaced.
Already mentioned in despatches back in June, Vydra is reportedly again in Hughton’s sights with the youngster’s 20 Championship goals – while on loan at Watford last season – catching the eye of several Premier League scouts; the Eastern Daily Press reporting that Southampton too are showing a keen interest on the young Czech.
Despite the clear desire of a few to lure him to the Premier League, the 21 year-old’s owners, Udinese, appear equally intent on retaining his services with a view to him leading their charge in next season’s Europa League.
As always, there’s little to differentiate this rumour from the hundreds of others that have been in circulation since the end of last season, but with a bank balance due to inflate dramatically as the season progresses, and with only two senior strikers currently on the books, this one won’t be the last.
While it appears Quagliarella, Toivonen and Lopez were near the top of Hughton’s list, you can bet that – courtesy of Ewan Chester’s European tour – there are several others for whom the ‘feelers’ have already been put out; Serie A appearing to be of particular interest.
With City’s US tour almost done and dusted – their final and toughest challenge coming in the early hours (4:00AM BST KO) against Portland Timbers – the travelling party will soon be heading eastwards, allowing Hughton’s search for a goalscorer to resume minus the distraction of stateside travel.
But let’s not panic; five and a half weeks to bag ourselves a striker or two is a piece of cake in McNally World.
Just don’t be surprised if one – not even on the radar – pops up out of the blue (or green).
On the Ball City