Bristol City face new rival for Fraser Horsfall signature as Celtic leave Semedo race

One teams joins Bristol City in the race for one of their targets whilst another turn their attentions elsewhere on a different target

League Two newcomers Stockport County have emerged as a new contender for the signature of Bristol City target Fraser Horsfall.

Horsfall is free to discuss a move to a new club with his contract at Northampton Town expiring at the end of the month and there had been interest reported in him back in May.

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A decision has not yet been made on the next possible destination for the 25-year-old, despite there being an option on the table for him to stay at Sixfields.

Now in the latest development, the Robins face a new challenger from the lower leagues for the in-demand centre-back who is still mulling over his options.

Sam Byrne, a journalist for the Manchester Evening News, says there is interest from the Hatters in Horsfall. In a short tweet posting to his followers, he said: “I believe there is at least some interest in Northampton Town defender Horsfall.”

Interest first emerged from City in the defender back in late May with defensive reinforcements a priority at the time for any new signings after frailities at the back last year.

Horsfall featured regularly last season for Northampton, playing 52 matches in total and captained them on four occasions, scoring nine goals as a goalscoring centre-half. Despite Northampton’s failure to get out of League Two at the expense of Bristol Rovers and later Mansfield Town, Horsfall was named in the Team of the Season.

City though have already signed Kal Naismith from Luton Town who can play at centre-back whilst TImm Klose put pen-to-paper on a new one-year deal.

The departure of Robbie Cundy, who left to join Barnsley on a three-year deal after running down his contract, however could speed up the process in City signing Horsfall should they begin to move players off their books.

There are in total 11 players that could fill in at centre-back though there is a likelihood that Ryley Towler and Duncan Idehen will depart on loan whilst Taylor Moore is likely to leave after falling out of favour.

City do play with three centre-backs in Nigel Pearson’s system and his recent comments with the club media are an indication that will continue so possessing a number of versatile defenders isn’t out of the ordinary.

But one position that may still need filling however is in the centre of midfield with lesser options available with an uncertainty on whether Han-Noah Massengo will stay with his contract expiring next summer.

The newest name to be linked to Bristol City has Championship experience with Reading. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Earlier this week, City were linked with Jack Rudoni, a playmaker from AFC Wimbledon, with a bid reportedly rejected but then came links with Alfa Semedo from Vitória de Guimarães.

Semedo, a midfield enforcer, who had loan spells in the Championship with both Nottingham Forest and Reading then became the latest name to be linked with a move to Ashton Gate.

Football Insider claimed that City, their league rivals Stoke City and Celtic were interested in him and was available for a fee of just under £2 million.

It had seemed Celtic were frontrunners to sign him and reports in both Portugal and Scotland said that a loan move had been agreed, but the latest development from Scotland is that Semedo is NOT an option for the Scottish Premiership winners.

Celtic’s withdrawal of interest now leaves the door open for City to steal a march and snap up the midfielder, however with a fee needed to take him away from Portugal, club chiefs must decide whether he is worth paying for.

City’s transfer signings have all been free transfers, though they are in discussions with Forest Green Rovers over a compensation package, which is expected to be a nominal fee.