Nigel Pearson’s candid Bristol City transfer revelation that points finger at Premier League clubs

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The Robins are approaching a busy summer - but any major change in approach is unlkely to be taken.

Nigel Pearson reveals that Bristol City made unsuccessful attempts to sign several Premier League players on loan in January but admits he could utilise the market this summer.

The Robins had been in the market for defensive reinforcements and Jake O’Brien was a reported transfer target but a move to Ashton Gate failed to materialise. Ireland defender O’Brien was on loan at RWD Molenbeek in Belgium, and ended up staying put at the club where he achieved promotion.

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Reda Khadra was a confirmed target this season also, with a failed attempt revealed when City lost to Sheffield United. Khadra was recalled by Brighton and signed a one-year extension before being loaned out again to Birmingham City, with City unable to make a move because of their lack of resources at the time.

“We did do in January to be honest with you,” said Pearson who was appearing on Sound of the City with Geoff Twentyman on BBC Radio Bristol.

“It’s just we couldn’t do deals. I’ve tried to sort of try to explain this before.

“Especially when you’re looking at Premier League clubs and the players they want to loan out. Sometimes those players end up being your top earners. It’s something we have to be very mindful of. How things have changed over the loan market over the years is quite incredible really.

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“We did try and bring in a couple of players in January. To try and alleviate our shortness of players in certain areas and they just weren’t doable really. They were too expensive.”

The 59-year-old has yet to make a loan signing in his two-and-a-half-year tenure. He worked with Steven Sessegnon who was on loan from Fulham at the time, but since then has worked with players already at the club.

Cameron Pring, Sam Bell and Max O’Leary are just a few players who have benefitted from the club cutting their cloth accordingly and using players already at their disposal. The former Leicester City boss isn’t neglecting the loan market but has a preference on having players in the squad that are firmly ‘in the building’ with no worry of their departure upsetting things.

He said: “Premier League clubs now, I think they all have loan managers. It’s become to not a large extent but there is an element of it being about the finances than about the player development which I think is a shame.

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“In the past, I’ve had contact on a manager-to-manager basis and it’s been very clear what the outcomes we’re looking for with both clubs and the players. Now of course, it’s changed somewhat. To try and get the right players in is as not as straightforward as it used to be, let’s put it like that.”

“It’s always been something that is definitely a doable thing or something we consider but actually I really want as many players in the building as possible who want to be part of us as a club. It’s the big thing and the loan market will always give you an opportunity to supplement that, but it’s not the main thing.

“We tried to make loan signings in January. The trouble is with Premier League players, you might be bringing them in and they’ll be your top earners. That’s something we need to be careful of. Loans has become more about finance than development for many Premier League clubs.

“I just think, at times, the club has had too many players, too many players on loan and what we’re trying to do now is create an atmosphere which is quite tight and we want our players to enjoy success with us.”

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