Nigel Pearson enters Bristol City into transfer tug-of-war with Birmingham over Reda Khadra

Reda Khadra's loan at Sheffield United is over - but now he has a choice between two clubs
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Nigel Pearson is still exploring the possibility of signing Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Reda Khadra for Bristol City and believes he could be a good fit for the club. Khadra is set to be sent back to Sheffield United with his season-long loan deal to be cut short imminently and the 59-year could be ready to swoop.

The Blades are seeking a replacement for Khadra which would free up a place in their squad as well as wages. Sheffield United have been in dialogue with Brighton, and the player has admitted to manager Paul Heckingbottom that he wants to leave Bramall Lane.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Khadra had joined the Yorkshire club with a view of a permanent deal, but it has not worked out for him. He has not started a match since November, and out of his 16 appearances, has started just five times. The German Under-21 international has not been included in the last two match-day squads, and was an unused substitute against Coventry.

Pearson is a manager that usually keeps his cards closest to his chest but was happy to go public in his chase for Khadra in November. The 21-year-old’s last start came at Ashton Gate but he was hooked off after thirty minutes, which prompted Pearson’s response on the matter, revealing that he had been a target.

“No, I haven’t burned any bridge,” said Pearson when asked if Khadra’s rejection had spoilt a chance of him moving to Ashton Gate.

“He’s a player we have talked about in the summer because we felt he would be good for us.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“His loan deal hasn’t really worked out for him. He would be a player that I think would be good for us and us as a club would be good for him. It’s something we are exploring again.”

As it stands, Khadra’s career is in limbo, with a resolution hoped for before the end of the January transfer window. Sheffield United will need to find a replacement, and parent club Brighton will need to ensure they choose the right club for him this time.

Telegraph journalist Tom Collomosse says that Khadra is being ‘lined up’ for a move to Championship rivals Birmingham City. Birmingham could steal a march on City whose hands are tied in terms of recruitment.

Ryley Towler’s reported sale to Portsmouth will not be enough to fund a transfer and instead is likely to be reinvested in the academy. City will need to hope that one of their three out-of-contract players that have been told they can leave has found a move that could help fund any move for Khadra.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“But as it stands at the minute, we can’t do any business until people leave,” admitted Pearson. “Whether it’s a sale or players leaving to free up potential wages.

“These are the nuances of getting the balance right, it’s not as straightforward as going out and adding to the squad or selling players.

“We don’t buy or sell any players without giving it considerable thought and doing what we believe to be the right reasons. This is a window where if you’re not careful you can be pushed into a corner, it’s important we make good decisions.”

Khadra fits the bill of the ‘maverick’ type player that Pearson had spoken about back in November. The former Leicester City manager wanted to be challenged and kept on his toes. The team has individual stars such as Andi Weimann, Nahki Wells and Tommy Conway, but needs a player that can inspire them to victory or salvage them a point out of nothing.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A maverick however is not just limited to being a playmaker or an attacking midfielder, and instead can be on any area of the pitch. City remain on the search for a new centre-back to help stop their leaking of goals, however in recent games they have sured things up.

He added: “It depends in which area of the field you are looking for, I don’t know what you think a maverick is, they can be a defender or a goalkeeper. They don’t have to be an attacking player. We feel at the moment we’ve not really been in a position where we have created lots of goal scoring chances.

“We need players like mavericks’ who will still have to work hard for the team. It’s not having a luxury player. We’ve had luxury players in the past and we have had to move them on because we can’t function with them. It’s about getting players who are match winners at either end and whether that be good defenders or players who can win a game out of nothing.”

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.