Rotherham United forward Michael Smith is no longer a target for Championship side Bristol City, as reported by Bristol Live.
The 29-year-old scored ten goals and recorded three assists during the Millers’ 2020/21 Championship campaign – and has been heavily linked with a move away from the New York Stadium following their relegation to the third tier of English football.
Championship clubs Middlesbrough and Bristol City were two sides said to be monitoring the £1.5m-rated forward’s situation this summer, with the former potentially wanting someone to replace Chuba Akpom who looks set to link up with PAOK Salonika.
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However, the Robins are also on the search for a forward after losing Famara Diedhiou on the expiration of his contract at Ashton Gate and subsequently signing for Turkish outfit Alanyaspor, with Marley Watkins another player who wasn’t offered a new contract by manager Nigel Pearson.
The return of Andreas Weimann from his anterior cruciate ligament injury and his decision to put pen to paper on a new three-year contract comes as a boost to the Robins, who also have Chris Martin, Nakhi Wells, Antoine Semenyo, Saikou Janneh, Tommy Conway and Sam Bell available as options.
But with the inexperience of the latter three and the failure of any to establish themselves as Bristol City’s main talisman up top, a 20-goal per season striker was at the top of many Bristol City fans’ transfer wishlists this summer, even with Weimann returning from injury.
However, the Robins’ boss Pearson has already admitted this wasn’t a possibility with their limited finances and they wouldn’t be bringing anyone in without players leaving first.
The imminent departure of Hungarian international Adam Nagy has potentially made one or two more signings a possibility in south-west England – but one man they won’t be pursuing is Michael Smith – who now looks set to remain in the third tier with Paul Warne until at least January.
Although a star striker would be ideal and someone who could push them up the league table, contributions from the likes of Chris Martin, Andreas Weimann and Nahki Wells will be guaranteed with the amount of experience they have in the second tier.
And though the Robins will be hoping for a much better finish than the 19th they managed to achieve last term, it’s unlikely they will be competing for promotion this season so it’s not as if they necessarily need a 20-goal per season striker straight away.
Their contributions, combined with Semenyo’s impact and midfielders chipping in on the odd occasion should allow them to improve on what was a disappointing league finish during the 2020/21 campaign after fighting for a play-off spot not so long ago.
The addition of a top-quality striker may also be a good morale boost for a side that have won just four points from a possible 12 in their opening four second-tier games.
But with the Covid-19 pandemic crippling many clubs financially and the need to stay within the EFL’s profit and sustainability rules to avoid punishment, they are probably making a wise choice not to splash the cash on a new striker this summer.
A £1.5m fee on a capable striker like Smith may not have been a good purchase – but would he get the goals required to be their main man up top? Last season’s record suggests he may have done.