Jimmy's not the answer

PUBLISHED: 10:00 19 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:42 10 September 2010

Hasselbaink is expected to train with City players at the club’s Colney training centre this week.

Hasselbaink is expected to train with City players at the club’s Colney training centre this week.

Chris Lakey

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is unlikely to be the answer to Glenn Roeder's prayers as he searches for the final piece of his transfer jigsaw puzzle. The 36-year-old set tongues wagging after he watched City's home draw against Blackpool on Saturday from the comfort of the directors' box.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is unlikely to be the answer to Glenn Roeder's prayers as he searches for the final piece of his transfer jigsaw puzzle.

The 36-year-old set tongues wagging after he watched City's home draw against Blackpool on Saturday from the comfort of the directors' box.

Hasselbaink is expected to train with City players at the club's Colney training centre this week, but the EDP understands that the former Dutch international is only here to keep himself in trim, rather than with a view to joining City on a short-term deal.

The former Chelsea and Leeds star is a free agent after being released by Cardiff City in the summer, although his departure was an acrimonious one, with the player claiming he was due another contract.

That dispute is expected to be resolved this week, but Roeder's concern will be filling the obvious gap in his frontline.

The City boss has one preferred target, but the player's club has put up a brick wall, although Roeder is determined to break it down.

“We will keep chipping away like we have done with several players until we make a breakthrough,” he said Roeder.

Speculation over the player's identity has centred around former Spurs and Wolves player Steffen Iversen, who was yesterday making headlines in Norway after being sent home by his international manager - and former Norwich player - Age Hareide ahead of tomorrow's international against the Republic of Ireland after oversleeping yesterday morning and missing training

Sources in Norway say Iversen is eager to sign for Norwich, but that his club, Rosenborg, won't even consider releasing him from his contract until their domestic season ends in November.

The difficulty in prising Iversen from Norway means the name of Shola Ameobi simply won't go away.

The 26-year-old Newcastle striker, who knows Roeder from his spell as manager at St James' Park, has been the subject of a successful bid by Ipswich - but it is understood that he has yet to speak to anyone from Portman Road and that their attention has now turned elsewhere.

Roeder said on Friday he wasn't convinced the move would go ahead - all of which led to even more speculation that the player was still on the City shopping list. The cost would be prohibitive - Newcastle wouldn't settle for anything under £2m, and while the player's reported salary of £15,000 a week is low by Premier League standards, it would be difficult for City to match.

It all leaves Roeder with 12 days in which to fill a gap that is increasingly looking like City's Achilles heel.

The bookmakers don't rate City's chances for promotion this season - and one company has him down as a 16-1 shot to be the first Championship manager to be sacked this season.

Roeder is rated at 16-1 to get the elbow from Carrow Road, although it's another former West Ham manager, Alan Pardew, who SkyBet reckon could be the first to pick up his P45.

Charlton boss Pardew is rated a 5-1 joint favourite with Southampton's new man Jan Poortvliet to win this season's Championship sack race.

Iain Dowie, whose new role as manager of money club Queens Park Rangers has begun with a win and a defeat, is third favourite at 11-2, while Derby boss Paul Jewell is rated at 6-1.

Dowie has been the subject of much speculation since taking over at Loftus Road, with reports of a row with joint owner Flavio Briatore, while Jewell's start to the season has been interrupted by similar claims. The heat is on them both to produce, given the finances available.

He is among the dark horses, behind Owen Coyle, Brian Laws, Colin Calderwood and Paul Sturrock, although he will be none too pleased at being judged on his rebuilt team's performances just two matches into the campaign.

Roeder has been in the City hot seat since last November, since when he has saved the club from relegation and, during the summer, undertaken major staff changes.

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