Bristol City target ends up joining League Two newcomers in shock move

If Bristol City remain in the market for a centre-back, they will now have to look elsewhere

Bristol City will have to look elsewhere for a centre-back after Fraser Horsfall, one of their targets, joined Stockport County.

Horsfall, linked with a move to the Robins back in May, as well as Cambridge United, has put pen-to-paper on a three-year deal with the League Two newcomers.

The 25-year-old was considered a transfer target and had favoured a move to Ashton Gate but has eventually ended up at Edgeley Park.

Commenting on securing the signature of Horsfall, manager Dave Challinor said: "Not only is he undoubtedly a fantastic defender, but he is very comfortable in possession of the football and we believe that he can develop into a Championship defender as a minimum with his drive and determination, and the help and advice we can give him.

“I’m sure he’ll be a big player for us and will give us know how of the league and what’s required to be successful in it.”

City academy graduate Connor Lemoheigh-Evans is on the books at Stockport and will have his first taste of playing in the Football League after leaving the club after eight years in 2020 without making a league appearance.

But for what will now be a former target, Horsfall is all too familiar to the division, having played 45 times last year for a team with the best defensive record, whilst he also scored nine goals.

City have already signed Kal Naismith, who is likely to be one of the starting centre-backs for this season after his move from Luton Town.

There had been a hope that Robbie Cundy would sign a new deal but he opted to join Barnsley on a two-year deal as he sought a definitive first-team opportunity.

Boss Nigel Pearson does not expect long-serving defender Nathan Baker to feature for the club this season, claiming it was ‘unlikely’.

It does still leave the club with a few centre-backs like Rob Atkinson, a returning from injury Tomas Kalas, Timm Klose, Zak Vyner and the out-of-favour Taylor Moore, whilst youngster Duncan Idehen and Ryley Towler are also on the books.

Derby County captain Curtis Davies had been linked with a move, having managed him briefly during their time together at Pride Park.

Back on June 10, the 37-year-old commented on the speculation with his contract with the Midlands club running down but expressed a desire to stay.

He said: “It’s the only thing that is on my list that I want to do before I retire, but my head now is I want to play as high as possible and at a level where I feel I can play and compete. So, ultimately, if those offers come then I’ll have to think about them.”

Despite his contract running down, Davies reported to pre-season with the League One club, with the training session being overseen by former City defender Liam Rosenior after the departure of Wayne Rooney.