Exclusive: Bristol Rovers transfer interest in ex-Bristol City star after Sheffield Wednesday exit
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Hunt is available on a free after leaving Sheffield Wednesday earlier this summer, and could potentially become the Gas’ tenth signing. The 32-year-old is a two-time promotion winner from League One with both the Owls and Huddersfield Town, and represents that added bit of quality and depth that Rovers need for a strong promotion push.
He has made 484 appearances in professional football and appeared 18 times for Sheffield Wednesday last season, and contributed to their penalties win over Peterborough United in the play-offs. His 14-year playing career has mainly been spent in the Championship with 294 appearances, but he has also appeared 126 times in the English third tier, and would add experience to what is a youthful backline.
If all goes to plan, Hunt would follow in the footsteps of James Wilson, and become the second former Bristol City player to make the move to the Memorial Stadium this summer. He made more than 115 appearances for the red side of Bristol between 2018 and 2021, before returning to Hillsborough for a third spell.
Rovers already have Luca Hoole as their first-choice right-back, but James Gibbons has been sidelined with an injury, and hasn’t made an appearance this season. Hunt’s potential arrival could make for a shake-up in the right-back position with Hunt and Hoole expected to contst the role.
As Hunt is a free agent, there is not as many complications as if they were dealing with a club. It was reported by Alan Nixon earlier this summer that Bradford City had explored signing Hunt, but Rovers’ pull of third tier football makes them a more attractive proposition.
Earlier this week, Joey Barton revealed that he was ‘putting the final pieces of the jigsaw’ together, and had expected the club to do business by the end of this week, or at the start of next week. News of Hunt’s potential arrival means the club are nearing the final pieces of their transfer strategy.
“From our perspective we’ve got a little bit to do in terms of just putting the final pieces of the jigsaw,” said Joey Barton to BBC Radio Bristol on Tuesday when asked about the clubs remaining transfer business.
“We’re moving a few of those things on. In football, it’s not done until they’re done. We’re hoping to get some breakthroughs in the early part of next week or the back part of this week.
He added: “We’ve got a couple to do, and I think we’ve recruited really well. You forget James Wilson and Jevani Brown, I know they’ve got one or two out, but we’ve got some lads to come in to the mix as well.
“We’ve got the base and the nucleus of a really good squad and group. We need a little bit of tweaking in our group, we’re gonna lose a few as I said. There’s a few lads that will want to go and play, they’re having to be patient at this moment in time.
“We’re getting closer to the final pieces of the jigsaw that is hopefully not deadline day. It’s why I’ve got grey hair now, it tends to go into the back end. I’m hoping to have it all done by then so we’ve got a really boring transfer deadline.”