One week to go: what we expect and what might happen in the final days of Bristol City’s transfer window

It could yet be a pivotal seven days for Nigel Pearson’s team – or it could be a damp squib.
Bristol City manager Nigel Pearson. Bristol City manager Nigel Pearson.
Bristol City manager Nigel Pearson.

“The key to the modern game and success is recruitment.” Nigel Pearson’s words last month in one sit-down interview spell out how Bristol City must move forward to achieve their Premier League dream.

The next week could see movement on this front, both in and out. And what happens before the end of the current summer transfer window will impact the year ahead, as it does for every football club.

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To coincide, the final days of the window always see football’s transfer market rise up a gear as decisions are finally made in board rooms and changing rooms everywhere.

This year (up to 1 September 2022) is unlikely to be any different.

What does the future hold for Bristol City, now that their league campaign has really got going?

The club were expecting big interest in their young starlets this season, and thankfully none have left BS3. But there are still seven days of the window to go, with the likes of Alex Scott and Antoine Semenyo to keep metaphorically chained up at the High Performance Centre.

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High-flying Andi Weimann may have interest too, as explained by former head coach Dean Holden on Sky Sports commentary duties at the weekend. “His goals recently have put him into the thought processes of a lot of clubs.”

Any sales may lead to player trading – and more incomings.

Here’s what we expect to happen in the final week, what is likely to happen, and the chances of new arrivals.

Big Semenyo sale?

The Antoine Semenyo transfer saga will be one worth watching to the final hours of the window. With the emergence of Tommy Conway, the Robins have plenty of forward options but City might be tempted to cash in on the striker if a big bid of £12m or more comes in for the former SGS College forward.

With just two years to go on the 22-year-old’s current deal, and without a prospect of a renewal currently, the West Country side may have to decide wisely on when to cash in on their key asset, who was the subject of interest from several clubs last January too.

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If such an offer arrives (Crystal Palace, Bournemouth and possibly even Watford are those to keep an eye out for), and Bristol City agree to a deal that sees Semenyo switch to the Premier League, it will spark late incoming activity in the window as well.

Nigel Pearson has already stated that his recruitment priority is a right-sided centre back. A central midfielder is also on the wishlist after that. A big sale would release the funds to fill those two positions and possibly enable another forward to arrive as replacement too.

City were linked with 21-year-old central midfielder Fisayo Dele-Bashiru of Sheffield Wednesday this week, who has just a year left on his contract and who is currently attracting bids.

Any other outgoings?

The club would be duty-bound to carefully consider any last-minute offers for Dan Bentley, Nahki Wells, Jay Dasilva and Tomas Kalas.

Dan Bentley has a year to go on his current deal. Dan Bentley has a year to go on his current deal.
Dan Bentley has a year to go on his current deal.
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The quartet are out of contract in a year and can leave for free if no new contract is agreed before then (which may be unlikely given that the club is downscaling terms offered and working to decrease the wage bill).

All is quiet on that front currently but things can change quickly. We could see the four reach the end of their contracts next summer and then assess their options, as Andi Weimann and Nathan Baker did a year ago.

What’s likely to happen

Interested sides have been waiting to see Semenyo return to full fitness from his shin complaint.

Of course, City’s no.11 was back and scoring for Bristol City against Wycombe on Wednesday night, and any further goals or starts before the end of the window could encourage solid interest.

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There is no money to spend currently, as Pearson explained after the recent Luton game – adding that he did not see anything close to happening on the transfer front.

That means there’s a decent chance that nothing happens before the end of the window, and the Robins move forward with the current squad that they have. The January window could see any gap plugged.

Or, instead, a big sale is made - after a huge, late offer lands that the club deem is too good to refuse - and the Robins are able to spend again themselves.

BristolWorld has been told that Bristol City would find it tough to repel any huge bids currently, given the financial horizon.

One possible incoming

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Don’t forget that there is still the possibility of at least one more player added: Sol Bamba, who has been training with Bristol City last week and this.

Pearson pointed out that it was just training but left open the chance that something longer-term could arise. The West Country side have a long record of recruiting free agents during the playing season in the last years - Timm Klose last January, to Danny Simpson, Rodri, Adrian Mariappa, Ashley Williams, Stefan Marinovic (though the New Zealand goalkeeper played but was not given a long-term contract) and others.

The 37-year-old former Cardiff City centre back explained to Sky Sports on the weekend that: “Obviously the gaffer has been in touch and asked me to come and train, just to keep fit, and we’ll see where that takes me to.”

Bamba could be set for longer at Ashton Gate if he impresses, but that may depend on other factors (such as the transfer market).

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