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One down...

As the opening of the transfer window draws rapidly closer, one of the players most frequently linked with a January move to City has been struck off the 'wanted' list.
Ajax midfielder Steven Pienaar has agreed to join Borrussia Dortmund in the summer at the latest, with the German side hopeful of an earlier move if they can agree a deal to sell Tomas Rosicky to Atletico Madrid.
Stuart Pearce (to his credit I believe) has refused to comment or speculate on any potential players, only speaking generally about looking to strengthen the squad and that he will move if the right player becomes available.
Still, as is the media's wont in this country, speculation continues to persist on potential incoming players with Pienaars Ajax colleague Thomas Galasek frequently mentioned, whilst Christian Poulsen - who we failed in a deadline day bid for, has again been linked with a move, and of course Steed Malbranque.
One which seems to be gathering momentum since the weekend is Dean Ashton. Ashton has made no secret of his desire to play again in the Premiership and promotion seems a distant prospect for Norwich this season.
The striking position is one which is most in need of reinforcements and the general concensus from fans seems to be that they would welcome a move for him but a stumbling block could be a potential fee as if the papers are to be believed then Norwich are looking in the region of £7 million for him, which given Pearces cautious nature in the transfer market (and restriction on his overall transfer budget) would be way too much for a player still largely unproven in the Premiership.
Given that Pearce is certainly looking to bring in a midfielder or two, you figure that he would not pay more than £4 million for Ashton which would seems to be about right in my opinion. The worry then is that you may get other teams who would be more than willing to go higher than that which would scupper any bid.
I imagine that as we are just over a week away from the opening of the transfer window, Pearce in his own mind is clear on who he would like to bring in to the club and would like any new recruits to be brought in as soon as possible so I expect that any deals would be made sooner rather than later once the January sales begin.