The phrase 'open secret' is becoming rather strained when it comes to Adam Idah's desire to move to Celtic.

Reports from various sources have suggested he'd be partial to an extended spell at the club he joined on loan from Norwich City in January, including those north of the border, speculative analysis of his body language at Parkhead, and Idah's own mouth.

He's not gone quite as far as saying he'd like to leave Norwich for the Scottish champions, it's not a full Peter Odemwingie situation just yet, but if he was trying to hide that desire he did a pretty poor job.

“Look, I'm still at Norwich and I have four years at Norwich. They are my parent club and I don't know what's going on," he told the Irish Mirror. “Going to that new environment was unbelievable for me."

The Irishman found his feet on loan at ParkheadThe Irishman found his feet on loan at Parkhead (Image: PA)

When more reports emerged that the 23-year-old wanted to make a deal happen, many fans met them with anger and a desire to see him leave even quicker than they'd hoped previously.

Perhaps for Idah that was no surprise, given he'd named them and the media when asked who he felt had scapegoated him. In many ways it's natural to react negatively when a player doesn't seem to want to be at your club.

But a large section of the City support completely understood why he would want to pursue a return to Celtic, and that says a lot about the career he's had at Carrow Road up until now.

It's been more than four years of false dawns, injury woes, unfulfilled promise and fan frustration, and not all of it's been up to Idah.

Idah's had a series of setbacks at Norwich CityIdah's had a series of setbacks at Norwich City (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

First there was the decision not to send him on loan in January 2020, when an FA Cup hat-trick against Preston North End convinced Daniel Farke to keep him in his first-team group. At the time it looked like positive faith in youth, but in the years since it's felt increasingly like a missed opportunity.

Injury struck early in the 2020-21 campaign when he was likely to play a significant back-up role to Teemu Pukki, denying him valuable Championship minutes at just 19 and putting his development on the back burner.

The same problem hindered him just over a year later, when positive progress under Dean Smith was halted by a knee issue and City's survival bid came to a grinding halt shortly thereafter.

Smith's labelling of Idah as a "joint-compromised athlete" was another stinger in the following campaign, as if the negative labels attached to his plight weren't already enough. The ensuing five-year contract felt like compensation for that, but in a way it was another millstone around his neck.

Finally it looked like things could be working in his favour when the irreplaceable Teemu Pukki departed in 2023, but the 26-cap international quickly found himself behind Josh Sargent, Ashley Barnes and eventually Hwang Ui-jo.

The 23-year-old originally left Carrow Road in search of game timeThe 23-year-old originally left Carrow Road in search of game time (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

His wish to leave the club in January was granted and with ease he found a home where he scored goals, increased his standing in the squad and had the adoration of an enormous fan base. After years and years of trying to make it work in Norfolk, within months he was a Hoops hero.

Add all that up and it's easy to see why he wants to extend the adventure at his boyhood club. In fact, it's pretty hard to argue against it.

But football isn't about goodwill, and Norwich have a valuable player under contract amid a tight financial situation. That's why they're relaxed about their position in the situation, and they'll only sell Idah if the price is right for them.

New head coach Johannes Hoff Thorup is a big fan, and it would be no great loss to have a promising young striker in the form of his life to help him navigate his first season in English football.

Maybe it does make sense for Idah to join Celtic permanently, but it doesn't make sense for City until the finances make sense.