Bristol City transfer state-of-play as Nigel Pearson backs clubs stance

It’s been almost a month since Bristol City brought in a new arrival as other Championship teams continue their transfer business

<p>Nigel Pearson has said Bristol City are still actively pursuing deals. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)</p>

Nigel Pearson has said Bristol City are still actively pursuing deals. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Nigel Pearson has admitted that Bristol City are still hoping to conduct some transfer business before the window closes at the end of the month.

The Robins have so far brought in Mark Sykes, Kal Naismith, Kane Wilson and Stefan Bajic, all on free transfers or a small compensation package.

French goalkeeper Bajic who is still recovering from a wrist injury he sustained with Pau was the last arrival at Ashton Gate and that came almost a month ago.

Instead, it has been a case of players going out rather than in with a number of Under-21’s players earning moves to National League and National League South sides.

As is the desire to to do more business could see City explore different markets with a suggestion of player-exchanges with other teams as a possible way of navigating through the parameters of Financial Fair Play.

Another centre-back as well as a defensive midfielder would be the next targets but so far in their attempts they have been knocked back when they have tried to make a deal take place.

Pearson said: “The club are being supportive and we’re working really hard to try and find solutions. Rather than pour water on it I’d say look be patient and see where it takes us. Hopefully we’ll do some business but I can’t promise it.

“We have had bids that have been unsuccessful so it’s not that we’ve not attempted to sign players. We’ve had bids in for players and we’ve either not been successful or that it hasn’t worked out.”

“I don’t see any reason to get involved in making that known to the public. It might reassure fans that we are at least doing that but I don’t want to get into a sort of spin doctor effect, I don’t want that c**p because it’s nonsense.  Our policy remains that we’ll try and be up front and honest without giving some bull.

As well as failed attempts to bring players in, there have also been some media talk of some players departing the club though so far City have held firm and have managed to retain their key players.

It was reported earlier this week that Premier League giants Manchester United had made an enquiry for highly-rated youngster Alex Scott - one of the club’s most prized assets - though he is under contract until the summer of 2025 which would put City in a strong position when negotiating any possible deal.

Bournemouth were also said to be interested in club captain Daniel Bentley, though they may have turned their attentions elsewhere to Barcelona goalkeeper Neto, Bentley however is out of contract at the end of the season.

That is in addition to the continued speculation about Antoine Semenyo’s future who despite being ruled out with an injury is still of interst to other clubs.

Talk meanwhile has quieted down about any interest in out-of-favour midfielder Han-Noah Massengo, who is out of contract at the end of the season. Nahki Wells is in a similar position, with outside talk about him moving on with the likes of Preston North End, Queens Park Rangers and Swansea City interested but again his future remains in the West Country for the time being.

Asked about any incoming bids for his players, he responded: “Not that I’m aware of. There have been some enquiries but it’s quite a big leap from enquiries to bids but there have been some enquiries that I am aware of.

“I’m not a control freak, I don’t need to know every move that is being made. Richard always updates me on what’s happening, so I’m not worried about that.”

As to when any enquiries are made for any potential departures, there is a clear line of communication between Richard Gould, the club’s CEO and Pearson.

The City boss then relays this and reveals his stance to the players on how he reacted to them, as well as whether their future lies with them.

He said: “I’m always very open with players. If there is an enquiry, they will find out because there are mischievous people out in the world without going into details.

“They are going to find out from someone so I would rather tell them exactly where we are as a club and what I am thinking as a manager because I think that is the best way to go about it.”

In an ideal situation, there would be a transfer budget to attract players to the club but instead transfer operations are being run on a tighter ship.

City have not exchanged huge transfer fees under Pearson’s tenure whilst in previous years they had been able to spend more to attract new signings.

There are no complaints however from the man currently in the hot seat who is fully accepting of his position and where his side finds themselves currently when it comes to being able to wheel and deal.

Instead there is a desire to work with the talent at his disposal, ensuring that there aren’t any major injuries to contend with.

He said: “Those are if you like the circumstances that we are working within. What remains are the forefront of my mind is to build a side that does it in a way that is the right way for us as a football club.

“That isn’t to say that it’s always going to be like that but clearly the last two or three years have been tough for business and the industry in general. How we have approached it in the past has impacted the way we approach it now but that is just the way it is. I think there are a few Premier League clubs that are finding the waters a bit choppy at the moment.

“That’s the reality of where the industry is at. I think it’s important I as a manager respect where we are as a club and also work within the parameters. I agreed to be here and work within those parameters. You aren’t going to hear me moan but it can be a frustration at times. What we have to do is remain focused on doing everything we can to avoid injuries so we can operate with a smaller squad.”