When the first whispers of “one more year, Teemu” came from the Snake Pit, it wasn’t difficult to predict where things were going.

Those chants, directed at Norwich City’s star man during their 2-0 win over Cardiff, referred to the ominous contractual situation facing him. Teemu Pukki has just four months left on his current deal, and his presence even this year comes by virtue of an expensive extension clause.

The Finn’s famously unassuming nature made his reaction to the chants predictable – he jogged away from the warm-up that inspired them with a rye smile that gave little away.

Perhaps key in that debate is the jeopardy currently surrounding the Canaries, with their division next season known by nobody.

In the cases of less heralded players – such as Kieran Dowell and Onel Hernandez – that gives the club a decision, with their choice to renew or release likely based on whether promotion is achieved.

In the case of Pukki, whose star has shone increasingly brighter with every flowing endorsement he receives, that decision is flipped. Norwich want the 32-year-old to stay – there’s no doubt about that – but he won’t be short of other offers.

Hopes of a starting Premier League role may have dwindled for the number 22, but interest from Turkey is persistent and sustained, and his goalscoring record speaks for itself.

That’s why it feels likely that Norwich need to be promoted to keep their star man, especially when considering that Pukki wasn’t originally keen on even one more year in the Championship.

His future is another reason why David Wagner is currently straddling both short and long-term demands, with the benefits of a top flight return clear for all to see but many hopeful of a rebuild in NR1.

With his 33rd birthday approaching and the squad’s age profile coming into question, that rebuild is a rare strike in the ‘against’ column for a new contract, but Wagner would highlight the usefulness of his experience.

Even in spite of his quiet personality, former chief Dean Smith selected Pukki as part of his leadership group. Especially under a coach appreciative of traditional, big-personality leaders, that speaks volumes.

By all accounts Pukki is a leader by example, a setter of standards at Colney and at Carrow Road. The example he sets for his fellow strikers is clear, even if his brilliance has denied them game time in recent years.

The Pink Un: City fans are keen for Pukki to stay beyond the end of his deal this summer.City fans are keen for Pukki to stay beyond the end of his deal this summer. (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

It’s not the intangibles that have endeared him to the hearts of the City faithful, however. Pukki’s 88 goals have him fourth in the Norfolk club’s top scorers of all time, and his 0.44 goals per game is the third best ratio inside the top 15.

Add to that the context that two of his five Norwich seasons have been in humiliated Premier League teams, and the striker’s importance to his club is highlighted. What underpins the situation surrounding Pukki is that the Canaries are on the verge of losing their most reliable source of goals for half a decade.

Any fan who had forgotten his status in Norfolk was reminded by the reception received when he replaced Adam Idah in Saturday’s victory. The relationship between him and the supporters is the sort of connection they craved in the bleak early days of this season.

For many, a yellow and green world without Pukki in it is scarcely imaginable, and it’s easy to see why. The Finnish top scorer will know with greater clarity than anyone what his future holds, but the weekend’s reception will have had an effect in any case.

The chant eventually worked its way up to nine years, in a ‘bottles on the wall’ style progression. If they were granted one year, however, as per their original request, they’d be more than happy.