Bristol City in battle with Derby County and Ipswich for Aberdeen centre-back

The Robins face competition from two of League One’s big hitters as they search for a new centre-back

<p>There’s a new centre-back transfer target for Bristol City to mull over. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)</p>

There’s a new centre-back transfer target for Bristol City to mull over. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Bristol City’s search for a new centre-back has taken a different turn after they were linked with a move with Aberdeen’s David Bates.

The Robins have already recruited Kal Naismith on a free transfer from Luton Town but are seemingly keen to still add to their back line and could turn to Scotland in their quest for defensive reinforcements.

Bates, who has only been with the Dons for a year, joined from German outfit Hamburg and looks set to make a departure from Pittodrie.

He is one-year into an initial three-deal so a fee would be expected by the Scottish Premiership club though it could be in a realistic range for them to consider him as an option.

Reports up in Scotland, specifically the Daily Record say that City, along with League One duo Derby County and Ipswich Town want to take him south of the border.

The 25-year-old played in 34 games last season, including 32 league games and missed just two matches, making him a dependable option.

Most of his career has been spent up in Scotland with Raith Rovers, East Stirlingshire as well as Scottish giants Rangers before a move to Germany. He had a brief spell in England making one senior appearance for Sheffield Wednesday before suffering a serious injury.

Bates then spent time out in Belgium with Cercle Brugge before returning to his country of birth and has six caps for the national team.

Nigel Pearson has continued to use formations and systems that accommodate three central defenders so having numbers will be key after encountering some injury crises in the 2021/22 season.

Tomas Kalas has so far not played in any of City’s pre-season fixtures with just nine days until their first game of the season, away at Hull City.  The Czech Republic defender has been out with a groin injury and underwent surgery for it at the end of last season

There has also been a gap left by the departure of Robbie Cundy, who after breaking into the first-team, opted to join Barnsley, despite a contract offer by City.

They had been attributed with interest in Curtis Davies but he chose to stay at Derby, whilst Fraser Horsfall, another target opted to join League Two newcomers Stockport County.