Wolverhampton Wanderers and Portsmouth moved quickly last night to deny reports that outgoing Pompey chair-man Milan Mandaric is plan-ning a £15 million takeover at Molineux.
Mandaric is known to be keen to sell his remaining stake in Pompey to joint-owner Alexandre Gaydamak for £32 million. But, despite admitting to recent discourse with his friend and fellow business colleague Sir Jack Hayward, the veteran Wolverhampton Wanderers owner, Mandaric claims that reports linking him with Molineux are a mere case of putting 'two and two together'.
Wolves chief executive Jez Moxey was even more adamant that there is no truth in a reported approach by 67-year-old Mandaric, 15 years Sir Jack's junior, calling the notion "absolute nonsense". But Serbian Mandaric, who has also been linked with buying a club in his home country, was slightly more expansive, saying: "I'm not in talks about buying Wolves.
"I talk to Sir Jack regular-ly," he added. "But it is only to chat. Because I am selling Pompey, people have put two and two together.
"If I leave Pompey altogether, then one day I might get involved with someone else, but it's not happening now."
Mandaric's alleged approach may be considered fanciful by both clubs. But the report comes when finances and footballers have become alarmingly thin on the ground at Molineux.
At least those drastically reduced levels have been crucially matched by a fall in expectation where it matters most - in the boardroom.
After losing not only manager Glenn Hoddle but 11 players from a squad which finished seventh in the Championship last season, Wolves' more cynical fans are starting to talk about a potential relegation struggle.
The bookmakers are not going to make the same mis-take as last season when they had Wolves as one of the favourites for automatic promotion.
In that respect, at least whoever comes in at Molineux will not have the burden of a boardroom expecting miracles.
Other less-understanding boards at other clubs have expected the sort of man with a magic wand who can create a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Although he can privately
dream about someone coming to do an 'Adrian Boothroyd', Moxey is at least a realist.
"Who would have thought," said Moxey, at a time when he is looking for a Boothroyd of his own,"that Watford would get promoted? They did a fantastic job on a wage bill a third of ours.
"Anything in football is possible and we want to remain optimistic. But we'll not be making any big pronouncements about what the targets are.
"We're deliberately dampening down expectations because we want to build a spirit and confidence within the team and then who knows what could happen.
"Part of the problem in the past at Wolves is that, in a way, we have fed the expectation level and that has sometimes become a problem for the team. But I don't want to do that now.
"That will stay in-house and we will just go out there with the attitude of trying to win as many games as we can.
"With the change of culture at Molineux, given the circumstances, we are going to need everyone pulling in the same direction.
"We're going to need the team to rally round each other, the management to rally around the team, the director-ship doing the same and, more importantly, the fans rallying behind our younger looking team.