Ex-Cardiff City defender still training at Bristol City, but unlikely to get a deal - here’s why

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He’s in the building but for how much longer? Assessing whether Sol Bamba could sign for Bristol City

Sol Bamba remains in the building for Bristol City but a move for the defender seems unlikely given a lack of movement since his arrival.

The 37-year-old has been training at the High Performance Centre for the last month or so in a bid to get ready for his next club after rejecting a player-coach role at Swindon Town.

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He arrived at Failand with no promise of a deal and Nigel Pearson has been honest about that from the off, explaining that it was merely a chance to help out one of his former players.

An appearance for the Under-21’s against Birmingham City sparked interest with a belief that a deal could be made. He has yet to play a game since and has not been seen in any of their last few matches, including the recent hammering of his former club Cardiff City.

Here we assess the situation and explain why Bamba is unlikely to become a part of the City first-team with other opportunities on offer to the Ivory Coast international.

Pearson’s comments

It’s unlikely that the manager will dip his toes into the free agent market and will instead see out things until at least January.

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There wasn’t a signing through the door after July 5, so if he really wanted a signing, he would have been able to get one.

In mid-September, Pearson was asked over whether Bamba was here, in which he confirmed he was.

"He’s still training, it’s to help Sol get fit and that’s why he’s still here,” admitted the former Leicester City boss.

“He’s thankful to be able to come in and train and he’s a very positive person to have around the place so I don’t have any issue with that. I’ve already spoken about trying to help people in the game who need a leg up so that’s really what it is."

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Free agents may sound risk free but from what they don’t make up in transfer-fees can be made up for signing-on-clauses and legroom for a bigger wage.

It isn’t to say Bamba would demand mammoth wages but City have to be extremely careful as to how they navigate through the rules of Financial Fair Play.

Injured players to return

Tomas Kalas is being managed carefully but you feel once he returns then City could cut out their defensive issues.

It’s still a work in progress at the moment and the back three will have good days and bad days.

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Kalas wasn’t part of a solid defence last year but his experience amongst new personnel could give them a sound platform.

Timm Klose has struggled a bit with injuries this season and he was brought in to provide defensive cover in January.

Klose isn’t a starter like he was earlier but he can still be an important player, so signing another player of his ilk wouldn’t make sense.

Belief in the current crop

Defence may be an area that they are short in but Pearson has a strong belief in what he has at his disposal at the moment. We’ve seen George Tanner prepare to be a right-sided centre half this summer, whilst Joe Williams has previously played there too.

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The academy has also been a place to look to but whilst City have proven to be a team to give opportunities to their own players, Pearson doesn’t want to expose too many players right now to first-team football.

Signing Bamba would be a short-term fix should there be any injuries but that would perhaps take away an opportunity for a younger player to at least experience the feeling of a match-day as a senior City player.

Cardiff manager links

It’s early days but the fact Bamba is being spoken about to succeed Steve Morison is something to keep an eye on.

The early feeling is Mark Hudson will be afforded an opportunity which could stretch beyond the international break and into Championship action, similar to what they did with Morison.

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It was reported by The Athletic however that Bamba was ‘keen and actually has some admirers within the club there, which could rank him higher than other candidates.

As coaching goes, he has done some of his badges with the Football Association of Wales, and studied for them through his cancer treatment, which is to be admired.

He didn’t have an official role during his time with the Bluebirds, though assist with their then Under-23’s side.

Bamba is said to be based near Cardiff, which is why he has been training at City as it isn’t too far from his current base and he has worked with Pearson before.

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They have yet to make a decision and there will be other coaches and managers out there with more experience which could mean that the current opportunity may pass him by.

He could however be considered for a coaching role there should they continue with Hudson or someone who knows the club.

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