Liverpool, Wolves, Brighton, Spurs or West Ham: Choosing Alex Scott’s transfer destination
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It was meant to be a summer in which we saw a transfer saga for Bristol City, but so far it’s been far from that.
Alright, the transfer window isn’t open yet, and he’s just been on international duty with England at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, so maybe there hasn’t been time for speculation. It’s a surprise however that all the talk on Scott, has kind of gone quiet since the season has concluded.
The 19-year-old was seen at Loftus Road, with a feeling of almost saying his goodbyes to supporters, but that was joked about by his peers, who had seen something similar with Han-Noah Massengo. There is so far there is nothing to suggest a departure from the West Country is imminent. In fact, Scott is dismissing speculation, and has told his family to ignore it also, providing that he has a wise head on young shoulders.
We do apologise to Scott by speculating where he might go, but his manager Nigel Pearson believes it’s a good thing on him and the club that people are speaking of him so highly. So here we go, we’re going to go through all the options available to him, and deliver our verdict on the speculation.
Brighton & Hove Albion
Without a doubt, probably the best destination for Scott. They’ve struck gold with some buys from abroad in recent years, and look like they’re going to have a bit of money to spend. Alexis Mac Allister may have gone for a cut-price of £35m, but Moisés Caicedo could also depart, and that will be reinvested back in to the playing squad.
They’ve also got some good English talent in their squad, and you only have to look at how Adam Webster has developed into a solid top-flight defender, after making the move from Ashton Gate.
The Seagulls have been linked with moves for Winston McKennie, who got relegated with Leeds United, and Marcelino Núñez from Norwich City. A fee of £20m has been discussed for Nunez, which is lower than what City are asking for Scott. He’s come off a season with three goals and two assists, which is less goal contributions than Scott.
Nunez could develop, but he is four years older than Scott, and you have to look at potential, and Robert de Zebri’s side could do no wrong signing the Guernsey Grealish. A move to the AMEX Stadium would likely rule out a return on loan, but a sizable transfer fee and any sell-ons could soften that blow.
The Reds’ recent acquisition of Alexis Mac Allister makes a move unlikely, because the two play in a similar position, and the World Cup winner is expected to play a big part for Jurgen Klopp’s side over the next few years. Liverpool paid just £35m for the Argentina international, which is £10m less than the asking price for Scott.
Liverpool have invested in the likes of Harvey Elliott and Fábio Carvalho from Fulham but neither have a price tag that Scott had when they acquired them. If Liverpool are still in the market for Scott, then the plus point would be that they might loan him back.
An absolute non-starter now. The Foxes come into the Championship with reportedly one of the highest wage bills, and will need to move some of their players on, which should rule out any expensive purchases. They’re also undecided on whether to keep Dean Smith, and so their management situation would need to be sorted out first, but given Steve Lansdown said last year he wouldn’t entertain selling his best players to a league rival.
Another non-starter now the Whites have been relegated. Leeds had a terrible season which saw them have several managers, and now they’ve got to choose who takes them forward, whilst there also being some off-the-field issues.
The Hammers are on cloud nine after winning the Europa Conference League, which is their first major trophy since the 1970s. Club owner David Sullivan dropped a bombshell though that Declan Rice would be departing, and talk of a £90m move to Arsenal has been discussed.
West Ham were said to have been ‘reluctant’ to pay the £25m asking price according to the DailyMail in May. Rice and Scott are two different types of midfielders, and so he wouldn’t be considered a replacement, but it could mean a rejig of their current options. The recent speculation is that Joao Palhinha is the man to replace Rice.
As for Scott’s chances of joining West Ham, there is maybe space for him in the squad, but he’s not going to be a guaranteed starter.
This would be a dream move for the boyhood Spurs fan, who shares a house with Arsenal supporter Tommy Conway. Spurs have sorted out their manager situation with Ange Postecoglou appointed, and there are some changes to be expected.
There is an element of caution however for young players at Spurs, as you only have to look at Djed Spence, who had a stagnated campaign, after joining the North London club. He won promotion to the Premier League with Nottingham Forest, but barely played.
Jack Clarke is another example, where after numerous loan moves after a promising start at Leeds United, he had to reinvent himself, and is now being linked with a move back to the top flight.
Spurs don’t have any European football this season, but they will have some expectations at least, and with a high asking price, they would surely have to keep him on, rather than loan him back out.
Take the speculation linking Scott with the Magpies as a pinch of salt, as because of their riches, they’ll be linked with anyone. Their name hasn’t appeared much in recent transfer news, and that’s because he’s probably not a serious target for them.
Eddie Howe’s side have got into the Champions League, and should be prioritising more high-profile signings. It was reported a few months ago that Newcastle would be open to loaning him back, which would be a positive, but if that’s the case, then they’d have to make sure they’re pushing for a play-off spot to make any loan back worthwhile.
The team with the strongest interest it seems, given they had been considering making an offer for him in January. Nigel Pearson dismissed any offer had been received for him in the winter transfer window, but is believed that they hold a strong interest. Julen Lopetegui recently made a comment about Wolves’ transfer approach to the transfer market, and that perhaps they’d look to the Championship to recruit their players.
Wolves 'really like' Alex Scott, but a fee of £20-25m could be too costly according to The Express & Star. It is suggested the Midlands club may have to move out some players before they can recruit some to abide to FFP rules, so City hold the cards when it comes to negotiating with them.
Staying at Bristol City…
If Scott stays this summer, then you can probably bet on him staying in January too, and doing another full season. This is Nigel Pearson’s final year of his contract, and whilst he could always extend his stay, you do feel that despite the competitiveness of this Championship, that there’s a genuine feeling of a play-off push this year.
An offer has been made to Scott to extend his contract at the club with his current deal running out in 2025. There’s no feeling he’d hold the club to ransom, as he’s been complimentary of what everyone at the club has done for him, but you do have to consider when the time will be right for him to leave. If he does another season but doesn’t sign a new deal, then clubs will hope for a bargain deal, but that surely won’t be the case, and City should get a handsome fee at some point.
Scott is important to this team, and the message from the manager is that by keeping their best players they can be successful, and this team is almost being built around him. He’s already highly thought of by supporters, but imagine his hero status if he stayed around to help them get to the Premier League?
The verdict: He stays at Ashton Gate, and waits it out until the summer of 2024.