Bristol City have clear summer transfer priorities to address as contact talks begin

Nigel Pearson and the Bristol City board have decisions to make this summer. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)Nigel Pearson and the Bristol City board have decisions to make this summer. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Nigel Pearson and the Bristol City board have decisions to make this summer. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Another big summer lies in store for Bristol City and Nigel Pearson with decisions to be made

Bristol City may be in the off season right now but there’s still plenty of things to consider over the coming months with an earlier start on pre-season.

Nigel Pearson has put a ban on Sky Sports in his household as he takes some down time away from the sport, but won’t be too far away from the phone, as you never can be in this industry.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

This summer looks to be another important one as what they do in the transfer market will determine their finish next season with an improvement hoped for.

Fans will be keen to see what kind of ambition City will show this summer as they work through the parameters of Financial Fair Play whilst also understanding the financial sitution.

An early feeling of off-season excitement was felt when Mark Sykes, a free transfer from Oxford United was announced after the retained list was made.

There is still more work to be done however with some things needing to be tied up shortly whilst for others, things could rumble on instead.

To keep or not to keep Nahki Wells

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Pearson towards the end of last season and last week has continuously expressed his desire to keep hold of the Bermuda international striker.

“I’ve spoken to four players who know that their futures aren’t going to be with us and that doesn’t include Nahki Wells," Pearson said to BBC Radio Bristol last Monday, "I’d love Nahki to stay with us.”

Pearson has an obvious desire for Wells to stay but there is a player there that could play regular football elsewhere and that will need to be a discussion that takes place this summer.

If City can keep hold of Antoine Semenyo whilst Andi Weimann and Chris Martin stay fit then the 31-year-old Wells could find himself in the same situation.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In January, the striker did make his intentions known that he wanted to play first-team football but opportunities to leave for Cardiff City on deadline day were turned down.

Understandably the club did not want to strengthen a league rival at that point given both were in the lower-half and it made sense to keep hold of a player that could have strengthened their case and worsened City’s.

Now the season is over, there has to be a consideration on whether Wells will get a chance this season. Weimann hit a career best year last year and played mainly as an attacking midfielder whereas Wells’ favoured position is a striker and does not envisage himself playing elsewhere so he’s in competition with Martin and Semenyo.

Of course Semenyo is of interest to other clubs but there would have to be a massive offer to even consider a possible departure. For Wells, that means that perhaps discussions between he and Pearson will need to be had for what the future holds. There’s also a consideration of what will happen with Tommy Conway and Sam Bell, who have both been in the first-team picture and are on the fringes with this being a key time in the development of their careers.

Han-Noah Massengo’s situation

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It may not be as much to do with Bristol City, but Massengo has recently turned down the chance to represent the Republic of Congo according to Bristol Live. He was expected to be named in Paul Put’s squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nation qualifiers but instead he will focus on the upcoming pre-season with City.

That is perhaps a show of Massengo’s belief that he can represent France, his country of birth, either at Bristol City or elsewhere. The 20-year-old represented the French U17 and U18 teams and is still eligible to play for their Under-21’s team.

But there is still the contract situation to sort out with the player entering the last 12 months of his contract.

The central midfielder got his start against Huddersfield Town despite Pearson’s revelation that as long as contract talks go on that his starting line-ups will consist of players whose futures are at Ashton Gate.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

There was an applause to the travelling City fans at Huddersfield from the box-to-box midfielder which felt like a goodbye but as of yet, there is only speculation and no firm offers for the player. Contract talks may have stagnated but one way or another, speculation needs to turn to a bid for City to consider or further talks are had between Massengo and the club about the contract offer.

The looming deadline on City’s out-of-contract quartet

A deadline of about seven to ten days was placed on the likes of Robbie Cundy, Timm Klose, Will Buse and Andy King, as the club seek clarity on who is involved in the squad next season.

Given King’s offer was to become a player-coach at his boyhood club, that is expected to be a foregone conclusion as Pearson spoke highly of his coaching prospects.

The 33-year-old already has his UEFA A Licence and if he does not play as much of a part this season, he will still be able to influence the team on the training ground, as one of the players to look up to.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In the latest update by BristolWorld’s Gregor MacGregor, it was revealed that Cundy has received offers from elsewhere which he will take into consideration. Pearson mentioned a number of times how the offer to Klose and Cundy differed as the 24-year-old had some issues with injuries.

Given the progress Cundy made at the back end of the season, featuring regularly in the absence of Tomas Kalas, then staying put would be a wise decision. There is the possibility however that Cundy will find himself in a competitive battle for a starting spot with a centre-back one of the positions that has been picked out for strengthening. Already Curtis Davies from Derby County has been linked and there will be more names to follow this summer.

For Klose, he showed that age is just a number as upon his arrival to the club as a 33-year-old, the Swiss international came in tip top condition despite not playing competitive football for months.

He was ever present and became an influential figure to Cundy and Rob Atkinson alongside him. There’s a desire from Pearson and also Klose’s peers to stay but with his initial contract being only six-months, then it was a deal for him to check out the club as much as they checked out him. In what could be his last club or at least one of them, this is a big career decision for Klose and he may seek security on his playing career before making a decision.

Find a buyer or move players on for a short-term loss?

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In his interview with BBC Radio Bristol, Pearson said that discussions had been had with four unnamed players about them leaving this summer.

Whilst someone like Jay Dasilva did well to push his way back into the team after coming out from the cold, the same may not be the case for the quartet.

It is suggested that Taylor Moore, Kasey Palmer, Zak Vyner and Tyreeq Bakinson are the four in question.

Moore and Bakinson have returned from loans at Hearts and Ipswich Town respectively and whilst Moore’s club may not sign him permanently, there was some interest from the Tractor Boys over a permanent deal.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

That then leaves us with Palmer who like Wells, apparently had an offer from Cardiff City on deadline day, but that was rejected. He hadn’t played a league game since October and for what he was bought for from Chelsea, will be on a wage that could be used elsewhere.

Vyner meanwhile was part of the first-team last year and found himself as a substitute option but with the desire for a new right-back and a new centre-back, it leaves him lower down the pecking order.

Terminating their contracts was not ruled out by Pearson with all our only having just a year left on their current deals. Of course that would mean paying them off what they are owed and allowing them to join rivals. Loan moves could also be an option with wages being paid in full to cover the costs.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.