As the transfer window prepares to close on Thursday afternoon at 5pm, the desperation in the football business (and fan bases) to get that last ditch signing done is ratcheting up several notches.
CEOs, Sporting Directors, Head Coaches, Agents and Managers will be looking at their phones a hundred times a day, looking for that call or text they’ve been expecting about that certain player, the one who’s going to save their season for them.
As a fan, you might be doing something similar as we enter the last 36 hours of the window. You might be constantly refreshing your Twitter or Instagram in the hopes of hearing that piece of news that will make it all alright. There’s a lot of chaff among the wheat though.
“We might win the league now” or “I think we can stay up now that Alexis Claude-Maurice has signed.”
That last snippet is relevant to us over here in the Canary Nation because it’s the latest name to be linked with a last ditch move to Norwich City.
You may well remember the name. He’s a forward that was linked with the Canaries at the start of the summer and he seems a prodigious talent, playing for L’Orient in France’s Ligue 2.
Wow. Norwich City made a considerable offer for Alexis Claude-Maurice this morning, and Lorient President Loïc Féry is satisfied with the offer.
Claude-Maurice has not responded yet to the offer. https://t.co/PJKrJkK4EV
— Zach Lowy (@ZachLowy) August 6, 2019
As I said, City were linked with Alexis at the start of the summer but then it looked as though he would be going to Arsenal with figures of €12m being bandied about and that pretty much ended my interest and I’m sure it would’ve ended City’s interest too, if it was ever really there.
I say that because at this time of year, Norwich are linked with everyone and anyone. We know that the club’s recruitment team will come up with a list of targets and offer them to the Head Coach and Sporting Director and then they decide the best way forward from there and who they want to approach to try to sign.
Clearly, Norwich were in the market for a new goalkeeper and loads of names were mentioned, including Joe Hart and Simon Mignolet. The cost of those players seemed to be just too prohibitive for City and I didn’t even bother to report them because of that.
Stuart Webber said he laughed when he saw that we were linked with Mignolet for £15m at the start of the summer, so I felt comfortable with my decision. I’ve since learned through that City did speak to Joe Hart about becoming their new keeper but he was asking too much money to make the move.
Don’t believe me? Fair enough. I can’t tell you my source for that one as it’s someone at the club and it would compromise their position. They’ve never been wrong for me yet though.
Hopefully, the fact that Ralf Fahrmann cost a €3m loan-fee plus his wages for the year shows that the Canaries were serious and prepared to spend big on the right goalkeeper.
Being the editor of a fan football blog means I have to tread a fine line in terms of the stuff I print. I like to have a reliable source to point to and sometimes I’ll take stick for that.
You might remember that I had a Twitter spat with ex-Daily Express journalist, Mick Dennis earlier in the summer over a rumour I printed?
Some people get very agitated about what is basically a bit of fun.
Funnily enough, it seems that poor old Mick got himself into a bit of a situation yesterday when he re-tweeted a tweet claiming to show a picture of Jordan Rhodes talking to Leeds United’s Sporting Director ahead of a £3.5m move to Elland Road that would be announced today.
It’s very possible that I got a tweet badly wrong, and so have deleted it. https://t.co/sBrbAa3i9q
— Mick Dennis (@MickDennisReal) August 6, 2019
If you look at the picture closely you can see snow on the ground and in the air. I know we’ve been having some funny weather lately but snow in August?!
Now, imagine what Mick would say if I had re-tweeted such a thing!
Never mind, Mick, it happens to the best of us…
This summer, the EDP have adopted a new policy of transfer rumour reporting by literally reporting everything. Paddy Davitt’s famous hashtag #nocircus has been conspicuous by it’s absence.
What is the reason for that? Maybe they’re chasing the views they need to help bump up advertising revenue, like many sites, especially now in the face of competition from the excellent The Athletic, not to mention all the free content that’s out there, including sites like this.
Who knows? It is however, a big change of policy for them.
Norwich look to be on the verge of signing Ibrahim Amadou on a season-long-loan from Sevilla, probably today. There’s just too much stuff out there, not least from Estadio Deportivo, who are a local paper to Sevilla, so should have the inside story on that one, for it not to happen. It’s probably just down to whether the player likes what he sees and hears when he gets here.
This potential signing has created a bit of a furore in the Canary ranks with fans even checking flight rosters and following the plane thought to be carrying Ibrahim to Norwich.
Here’s one for #NCFC fans, Ibrahim Amadou boarding an embraer phenom half an hour ago, and there’s a pic of radar 24, a private embraer phenom flying out of Sevilla airport on the flight path towards Norwich City. #Norwich @NorwichCityFC #Amadou pic.twitter.com/A53I7T6lQD
— Sam Mandley (@SamMandley) August 6, 2019
The player himself used his Instagram to show himself getting on a private jet and I don’t think we’ve seen a level of excitement like this since Fabio Quagliarella was linked with City under Chris Hughton.
Good job that one didn’t happen, Hughton would’ve probably told him not to go over the half-way line! The Quag is still tearing it up for Sampdoria and Italy now though…
So, you can see the level of excitement transfers generate among fans. Football is a business/past time like no other.
City have also been linked with Chelsea’s Danny Drinkwater and Watford’s Nathaniel Chalobah in the last 24 hours, as well.
Are either of them coming to Norwich? I doubt it very much.
My take on the Drinkwater & Chalobah speculation is that City want a DM and have probably enquired about them but have settled on Ibrahim Amadou. We only need one of them & the stuff coming out of Sevilla suggests it’s Amadou… #ncfc #otbc ????
— Vital Norwich (@VitalNorwich) August 6, 2019
Drinkwater and Chalobah were probably players that we enquired about, perhaps even spoke to, like Joe Hart but for one reason or another City went for Amadou to plug their defensive midfielder sized hole.
You watch, Drinkwater will probably rock up at Colney on Sky Sports this afternoon, chauffeur driven, er hem, naturally.
Getting back to this lad, Claude-Maurice though, can we afford him? Did we ever really make serious contact with L’Orient? Who knows? I certainly don’t. Only the people involved know.
For what it’s worth, I seriously doubt we have €10m+ to spend on a single player at this stage of the transfer window. Everything we’ve been told all summer goes against that.
Having said that though, L’Orient will probably have hoped to sell their star man by now and with less than 36 hours to go, the price could drop, if they do actually want to sell him, of course.
Could he be another on a loan with an option to buy? Does he fancy coming to Norfolk? Surely it’s a big step up from Ligue 2 to the Premier League and we’re not Arsenal. Was he a Thierry Henry fan as a boy?
The variables are endless and that’s why so many of us love the transfer window. Is Paulo Dybala going to Spurs now that Manchester United have said “No thanks, too much”, What’s happening with Philip Coutinho. Is he also going to Spurs – or Arsenal? Will Ipswich Town sign anyone that you or I have actually ever heard of?
That, and more, is why so many of us love it and why we allow ourselves to get suckered into the silly season.
Alexis Claude-Maurice? He could be the player that keeps us up…”