Bristol City transfer window state of play: Han-Noah Massengo interest, Antoine Semenyo latest

Bristol City could be in for a busy January transfer window for once
Nigel Pearson wants to do transfer business with Bristol City in January. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)Nigel Pearson wants to do transfer business with Bristol City in January. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Nigel Pearson wants to do transfer business with Bristol City in January. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Bristol City have a busy month ahead of themselves when they usher in the New Year. The Robins will travel to the Midlands to face Coventry City on the first day of 2023, after the Sky Blues were given assurances over their future there.

City’s clash with the Sky Blues falls on the same day that the January transfer window opens, with there a feeling that business could happen.

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Richard Gould is departing his role as CEO to take up the same position at the England and Wales Cricket Board. His departure was pencilled in as after the January transfer window, and so something should happen, as otherwise his departure would have been sooner had plans not been afoot.

Here’s the state of play as the opening of the window draws near.


Brighton & Hove Albion forward Evan Ferguson was linked with a move to Ashton Gate, but that is unlikely to happen. It was reported by the DailyMail in November that Ferguson was attracting interest from eight clubs including City, but a striker is not a priority. If Semenyo leaves then he could be a player that they return to.

Torino centre-back Koffi Djidji is another player that has been linked with a move to the West Country. Fulham were the first English team to be linked with them, but then Anderlecht and Italian giants Inter Milan reportedly joined the race. City don’t possess the financial muscle that their rivals do, and so it is a non-starter, especially when Djidji is playing regularly.

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Macaulay Langstaff is the third and final player to be linked with a move to City. The 25-year-old is a wanted man given his form for Notts County in the National League with 21 goals in 23 appearances.Several Championship and League One clubs have been linked, including Severnside rivals Cardiff City and Swansea City. Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe ruled the Lilywhites out of a move for Langstaff.

Notts County do not envisage selling Langstaff unless it was a hard to turn down offer. A striker is not on the top of priorities, and the lack of experience in professional football could stop the wheels in motion of any possible deal.


Antoine Semenyo is sure to be a name that will be hotly discussed throughout the month of January. He was spoken about continuously this time last year, as well as in the summer. An injury picked up on internatonal duty helped keep the Ghana forward at the club, with Crystal Palace reportedly keen in the striker, who could be viewed as a potential replacement for Wilfried Zaha.

Scottish Premiership pair Celtic and Rangers are said to have scouted Semenyo extensively, and that a £9m bid was rejected last summer. Rangers had been linked with a £5m move for the forward, but that is well below the asking price. Fenerbahce are the newest name linked with Semenyo, who have him on a three-man shortlist in January, though no contact has been made yet.

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Han-Noah Massengo is someone that is likely to depart should a team register concrete interest. He is out-of-contract in the summer and is not in Nigel Pearson’s first-team plans. Massengo has failed to make several match-day squads this season with players with longer-running deals preferred over him.

Pearson claimed it would be ‘beneficial for all parties’ if they could find a solution but that it wouldn’t be forced. No interest has come in for him as of yet, and it remains to be seen whether clubs will wait for him to be a free agent in the summer, rather than exchange a transfer or loan fee for him now. His lack of match action might have detracted potential suitors.

Duncan Idehen is likely to depart on loan after returning from Carlisle United. Idehen only played five times for the League Two outfit, and will seek an opportunity that will see him given more pitch time.

City will resist the urge to recall Ryley Towler, who is to remain at AFC Wimbledon until the end of the season. Towler has been a regular feature in the Dons defence and all parties believe it is beneficial for him to have a full season under his belt.


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At the Fans Forum in October. Pearson revealed that no contracts had been offered to any players. Preliminary discussions had been held, but that there was no firm deals on the table to any of the ten players out of contract.

Andy King, a player-coach, has a decision on his hand and will assess the situation come the end of the campaign. King had to be patient for an opportunity, but has been thrown in at centre-back recently.

Semenyo’s contract runs out this summer, but there is an option to extend his stay by a year, which will be activated in ‘due time’ according to the manager.

Top scorer Nahki Wells, who has rekindled his form this year, is the most high profile of players who’s deals expire this summer. Wells has eight goals for the Robins this season, and the club will want to secure that one of their reliable scorers can extend his stay.

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Club captain Daniel Bentley, who has not played since the 3-0 defeat to Birmingham City is out of contract, as is Chris Martin, Jay Dasilva and Tomas Kalas.

City hold options on Owura Edwards, Timm Klose, Zak Vyner, and Max O’Leary. Vyner has missed just one Championship game this season whilst O’Leary has become first choice recently.

Taylor Moore looks likely to run down his contract, with a season-long loan at Shrewsbury Town, ending his time at the club. James Morton will also become available, as well as midfielder Josh Owers and Harvey Wiles-Richards.

Areas of concern

Centre-back is the obvious position that Pearson wants to strengthen in. Defence has been an issue for City, who despite several options in that area, have found themselves short at times.

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Kal Naismith has only just returned from an injury, whilst Tomas Kalas been unavailable fr a majority of the season. City last year signed free agent Timm Klose towards the end of the window, and there are similar options available this time round.

The likes of Liam Moore and Sean Morrison, two experienced centre-backs at Championship level, could be two players that Pearson could fall back on should there be a defensive crisis.

During the World Cup break, City have been scouting several teams, both domestically and abroad. Brian Tinnion was appointed as the clubs technical director and there have been representatives at Chelsea and Manchester City Under-21’s matches. It could hint at some possible loan arrivals, should they work their way around a loan fee and wage contribution.

Pearson reiterated that City were in need of a ‘maverick’ and revealed that Reda Khadra, who later joined Sheffield United was a target. A central attacking midfield player that provides support to the front two could be on the agenda if money becomes available during the window.

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