Bristol City transfer target advised by Celtic & Hearts man over £2m move

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Paul Hartley - who played for Aberdeen and Bristol City - is well positioned to offer transfer advice

Paul Hartley has advised Aberdeen’s Ross McCcrorie over a proposed move to his former club Bristol City.

Hartley, who was a Robins player for one season, believes the Championship is a big attraction for players in Scotland, hinting that McCrorie could be tempted over a possible move. A move to Ashton Gate could result in a call-up to the Scotland national team, which is a feat that alludes the former Portsmouth loanee.

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It was reported last week that City had been in discussions with Aberdeen over a transfer that could cost up to £2m with technical director Brian Tinnion reportedly in attendance. Since then, McCrorie has come out this week and said he is focusing on Aberdeen, but there is a confidence that City can conclude a deal once the Scottish season is over.

In an interview with the Press & Journal, Hartley said: “I think England is always the attraction for any Scottish player now, that’s where a lot of them see their future.

“The Championship is a big league. You can see the attraction of it.

“If you can do well in England, you look at the boys who have done that already – Ross will want to try and force his way into the Scotland squad.

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“Ross has come into a lot of good form over the last couple of months. For me, he suits that league – he’s a powerful, versatile, young Scottish player.

“Aberdeen won’t want to lose one of their better young players and it would come with a fee if Ross was to move there.

“He’s doing well now and Aberdeen won’t want to lose him.”

Hartley’s time at City was spent in the 2009/10 season when he was signed from Celtic. He was brought in by Gary Johnson on a free transfer and made 42 appearances with seven goals and five assists.

His time at the club only lasted a season after he was made available for free and joined Aberdeen where he finished his career. Hartley will have experienced playing for both clubs with 32 appearances and eight goals in his final campaign as a player.

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Since Hartley’s departure in 2010, Bristol City gone through numerous managers with a major redevelopment at Ashton Gate. A new training ground in Failand was built and the club are averaging near 20,000 a match.

“It’s a good club, a big club averaging 15,000,” said Hartley when reflecting on his time in the West Country.

“I really enjoyed my time there, I loved it. It’s still the same owner, Steve Lansdown, a good owner.

“They’ve got great facilities and it’s a great city to stay in. They’ve spent a lot of money. They’re a club who are definitely geared up for the Premier League in England.

“They’ve got a brilliant training base now and a brilliant fanbase – passionate and vocal.”

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