Patience is the name of the game for Norwich City
- Credit: AP
Ola Toivonen is clearly not a man to be rushed. The PSV Eindhoven forward's marked reluctance to engage with the Canaries may irk many Norwich followers, but that is the transfer market City now inhabit.
The Swedish international deserves a period of downtime after a campaign prolonged by World Cup commitments for his country.
Similarly, no Norwich supporter would begrudge any professional footballer undertaking a period of due diligence when it comes to career choices in an fragile employment field with a markedly brief shelf life at the very top.
Yet Toivonen's initial response when directly questioned on reports Norwich had reached agreement with his Dutch club were lukewarm at best. Certainly a marked contrast to Ricky van Wolfswinkel's genuine sense of excitement ahead of his Carrow Road switch, which is officially rubber-stamped on July 1. The Dutchman pressed the flesh with Chris Hughton and his staff on a fact-finding mission to Norfolk prior to agreeing a move from Sporting Lisbon whilst City's Premier League progress over the final few months was monitored closely from his Iberian base.
Toivonen appears determined to keep all his options open.
It should perhaps come as little surprise that a highly-rated operator with an impressive pedigree was not immediately attracted to the prospect of a Norfolk switch. That is less a public snub and arguably a recognition of City's status as a maturing Premier League staple.
The Swede has already indicated he will not sign a fresh contract with Eindhoven. His current paymasters have threatened to consign him to the stiffs for the final 12 months of an existing deal that would seriously undermine his prospects of remaining part of Sweden's squad for a potential World Cup odyssey to Brazil. In the midst of this brinkmanship, Toivonen is also being linked with the likes of Fulham and West Brom.
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Hughton and Norwich's hierarchy are now engaged in a game of patience that appears increasingly par for the course when an ever-diminishing seam of Premier League quality will inevitably carry similar appeal to City's rivals.
The leisurely pace of the summer window is also in marked contrast to the condensed January transfer scramble. Players, their representatives and even sellers are not restricted to the same degree.
Scan right down the Premier League list of confirmed incomings at this stage of the close season and Van Wolfswinkel's arrival remains one of the major eye-catching pieces of business. Only Manchester City's double capture of Fernandinho and Jesus Navas along with Southampton's swoop for Lyon defender Dejan Lovren are in the same financial stratosphere.
City's accelerated progress through the Football League and now two completed seasons in the top flight have transformed every aspect of the club's operations.
Gone are the days when Norwich's main headline arrivals were unwrapped before the squad had returned for pre-season; Van Wolfswinkel's pre-emptive move was an exception that owed as much to Lisbon's desire to alleviate financial pressures. Toivonen's tease simply fits the current mood music.