Bristol Rovers want to try and bring James Connolly back to the club next season – but it might not be on a permanent basis, with Cardiff having tied the player down to a new deal.
According to Bristol Live, the Bluebirds have agreed a new extension of the player’s deal, that will see him stay in Wales for at least another campaign.
It means that the club clearly like what they see of the youngster and want to keep their eyes on him over the course of the next season. That might mean that they perhaps want to keep him on with them rather than send him out, or it could mean they want to see how his development continues elsewhere instead.
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Bristol Rovers certainly won’t be put off by this fresh update though. Having played in 25 league outings for the Gas last season, he ended up being a mainstay in their side and helped them to a League Two promotion come the end of the campaign.
With the side now preparing for at least a season in the third tier now, the side will want the 21-year-old back in their squad – and there is a few deals they could pursue.
The likely route now seems to be another loan, with the player having extended his stay with Cardiff. However, a permanent deal could still happen – it just means that it would cost Rovers a lot more than originally expected if they do want to pursue a longer arrangement for the defender.
Either way, it looks like Rovers will continue to pursue him even with this contract extension agreed upon.
James Connolly has proven he can be a really solid player at League Two level and slotted into the Bristol Rovers first-team nicely during his loan spell with them last season.
With the side preparing for a season in a new division, it’s no surprise that they will want to keep as much of that core together as they tackle League One. Connolly was used often during that campaign and considering his age and experience with them already, even more regular football beckons with the Gas.
The question is whether or not they will now be able to secure him. Cardiff might not use him much this season, which suggests he could be available on a loan. The contract extension though is either the Bluebirds considering him as a squad option, to allow them to watch his development ahead of another deal or to draw out a transfer fee.
Either way, the Bluebirds have made their move now and the ball is now firmly in Bristol Rovers’ court.