Wolves and Stoke City dealt transfer blow by Bristol City

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Premier League side Wolves and Bristol City’s league rivals Stoke City will have to look elsewhere

Stoke City and Wolverhampton Wanderers have been dealt a blow in their rumoured pursuit of Bristol City goalkeeper Daniel Bentley.

The Potters were linked with a loan move for the 29-year-old earlier in the January transfer window, and are searching for a replacement for Joe Bursik after he was sold to Scott Parker’s Club Brugge. Wolves meanwhile had been mentioned as a potential destination for Bentley, who wanted competition for Jose Da.

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Both clubs however will have to accept that Bentley will not be moving to either club after the Robins made the decision to loan out goalkeeper Stefan Bajic to Valenciennes until the end of the season. Bajic joined on a three-year deal on a free transfer from Pau in the summer, but made just one appearance and has failed to appear on the bench in the Championship.

He has returned to his homeland in the hopes of featuring for Les Bleus in the Under-21’s Championship this summer. Valenciennes are currently mid-table in the second tier of French football and after his exit was confirmed, City wished him well in his temporary time away from the club.

The French goalkeeper’s return to France leaves City with current first-choice Max O’Leary and Bentley as their only senior goalkeepers. Under-21’s goalkeepers Harvey Wiles-Richards and Josey Casa-Grande will provide cover but City are unlikely to leave themselves vulnerable by letting Bentley leave now.

Out-of-contract Bentley will remain at Ashton Gate for at least until the end of the season, with his contract expiring in the summer. New contracts had been offered to seven new players at the end of December but the identities of those has yet to be revealed. Nahki Wells signed a new two-year contract, but so far no other players have committed their future to the club.

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Bentley hasn’t played a match for City since featuring in the 3-0 defeat to Birmingham City at St Andrew’s in October. He was dropped by manager Nigel Pearson for O’Leary and has had to settle for a place amongst the substitutes with O’Leary the firm choice in both the Championship and the FA Cup.

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