Nigel Pearson makes Bristol City confession as he addresses transfer speculation

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Bristol City have had several players linked this summer - but not all have been true transfer targets.

Nigel Pearson has admitted Bristol City have moved on from some of their January transfer targets.

The Robins have done three bits of transfer business so far this summer, signing Ross McCrorie, Rob Dickie, and Haydon Roberts. City have been one of the most proactive teams in the Championship, and their early arrivals will allow for their new players to bed in quicker.

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As is the unpredictable nature of the transfer market, City’s original shortlist has now changed. They acted quickly on Rob Dickie’s availability, whilst Haydon Roberts’ departure from Brighton, was another move that City didn’t want to miss out on, especially after a return to Ashton Gate didn’t materialise for Joe Bryan.

Nigel Pearson was keen to clear up Bristol City’s plans for the remainder of the transfer window, and one of the key points he stressed was that any midfielder signing would be to join Alex Scott, rather than be viewed as his replacement. Several players have been linked, but have gone on to join other clubs with Kevin Nisbet and Jack Taylor just two names.

He said: “I’ve read loads of things about targets and most of them are just miles off about people we’re interested in, which is really why I’ve invited you in so you can ask questions about players.

“There are always lots of stories at this kind of year because there’s not a great deal of other news going on. There’s got to be some news out there even if it’s baloney.

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“Players who we might have been interested in January we might not be interested in anymore. Players who we thought we probably thought we’ve got a good go of getting that actually have been replaced by other players who have come out of nowhere.

“You have to have a flexible approach to who you bring in but you have to be clear about what you bring in.

“Rob Dickie comes in because he’s a very accomplished, well experienced, good age, good availability centre-back. He is a centre-back, that is it. I’ve been saying for ages we need a centre-back.

“If you look at Ross, alright people might say he can play centre-back, yeah he can do but I’d like to see him rampaging down the pitch from a full-back position because he can do that but he likes defending too.”

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From what Pearson is saying, it looks like City have moved on from Luke Currie from AFC Wimbledon. A few bids had been lodged for him in January, but the Robins were unsuccessful in their pursuit, as the Dons wanted to keep him at Plough Lane, but following the arrival of Roberts, a move for another left-back makes a move for Currie extremely unlikely.

As of yet, there have been no goalkeepers linked with a move to City, but that is not a position that immediately needs addressing. Max O’Leary dislodged club captain Daniel Bentley from the role, and Bentley ended up joining Wolves in the transfer window. Bentley wasn’t the only goalkeeper who departed, however, as last year’s summer signing Stefan Bajic joined Valenciennes on loan.

It ended up with Nikita Haikin joining, but he failed to make a single appearance, and academy graduate Harvey Wiles-Richards then became back-up to O’Leary, who signed a new three-and-a-half-year deal in February. Bajic is currently on international duty with France at the Under-21 Championship’s, but will be given an opportunity in pre-season once he returns.

"I know I like the goalkeepers and I like Max," added the 59-year-old.

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"Max proved last season to be a really good number one, and he’s what we need. He’s brave decision wise, he makes positive decisions, and the defence looked a lot more assured with him behind. I’m really happy with what he brings.

"I think pre-season will dictate whether we strengthen there, I’ll have to look at both Harv (Harvey Wiles-Richards) and Stef (Stefan Bajic) to see where they are at. We’ll give them a bit of exposure in the games and we’ll make a decision based on what is doable as well.”

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