Bristol City are not willing to meet Oxford United’s £2m valuation of centre-back, Rob Atkinson, which leaves the chance of a summer move hanging in the balance at this early stage of the transfer window.
Atkinson has stepped up into the first-team at Oxford over the course of the last 12 months, replacing Rob Dickie at the heart of defence under Karl Robinson and helping to deliver another top-six finish in League One.
Like Dickie, though, there are vultures circling in the Championship and looking to pluck the centre-back on the cheap this summer after 41 appearances last season.
As per Bristol Live, Atkinson is someone that Bristol City are considering this summer as Nigel Pearson looks to revamp his squad at Ashton Gate.
However, it is noted that Oxford are not in a position where they have to sell Atkinson, which is the reason they are demanding somewhere around £2m for his service this summer.
Despite Atkinson impressing as Oxford reached the play-off semi-finals – only to be knocked out by Blackpool – there is no chance of Bristol City entertaining the thought of paying that kind of fee for a third-tier defender.
Unless Oxford’s stance changes, Pearson will move onto other targets as he looks to replace Nathan Baker and Alfie Mawson.
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In these tough financial times, it is easy to understand why Bristol City aren’t willing to go in with £2m on Atkinson.
There’s a lot of work for Pearson to do this summer, right the way through his squad. So, with that in mind, it’s maybe not worth paying over the odds for a young centre-back stepping up the EFL pyramid.
However, in terms of Oxford, they are well within their rights to look for the best deal possible for Atkinson. He’s got a good deal behind him and Robinson remains as ambitious as ever to put Oxford into the Championship.
Why would they lose such a key player on the cheap?
Thoughts? Let us know!