Interesting development emerges from Oxford United on Bristol City transfer target

Bristol City may need to look elsewhere for a centre-back after a stumbling block was put in place of them

Bristol City have been dealt a blow in their potential pursuit of Oxford United defender Ellliott Moore after he extended his stay with the League One club.

The Robins are in the market for a defender but may have to look elsewhere after a development with one of their reported transfer targets.

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Moore was due to be out of contract with Oxford but the club exercised a one-year extension on him, which may act as a deterrent to any potential suitors.

The 25-year-old has been donning the captain’s armband in the absence of John Mousinho, highlighting his leadership qualities.

"I’ve loved my time at the club and am more than happy to be part of what we are building here," Moore said to the official club website.

The links involving City and Moore mainly come from the centre-back playing under manager Nigel Pearson at Belgian side OHL.

Moore, who was also at Leicester for a period, but didn’t make a first-team appearance at the Foxes and was loaned out to the Belgian outfit for two seasons. He made a total of 61 appearances, playing in the first and second tier after their relegation in 2019.

Returning to England following the expiry of his loan, he left Leicester at the end of his contract and joined Oxford on a permanent basis. He has ended up making over 120 appearances for Oxford, including a League One play-off appearance in 2020.

Given the years working together, Pearson was questioned on whether Moore would be a transfer target and that his scouting mission to scout him out, but he responded with a different answer.

“Me and Curtis (Fleming) decided to just go and have a look at one or two players who we have been viewing over a period of time. Elliot wasn’t one of them as it happens,” said Pearson when asked of his findings from his scouting visit back in April.

“I’ve had Elliott Moore at Leicester and at OHL. Why would I go and watch him in a game if I was going to watch Elliott? “He’s a good lad, he’s doing well at the level he is playing.”

Instead, City decided to pursue Moore’s teammate Mark Sykes, who earlier this week signed a three-year deal with the potential for a further year on a free transfer.

Sykes, played as a right-winger in the game that Pearson and his assistant Curtis Fleming both attended.