Bristol City have been showing some “tentative” interest in free-agent striker Gary Hooper but the deal has now fallen through, according to Bristol Live reporter Gregor MacGregor.
Hooper has been without a club since his release from Sheffield Wednesday over the summer, and it now appears Robins boss Lee Johnson has recently been showing an interest in the experienced frontman.
The Robins are unbeaten since the opening day of the season and currently sit eighth in the Championship table having collected 16 points from their opening nine league matches, but they recently were dealt a heavy blow when striker Benik Afobe was ruled out for the rest of the season.
Afobe managed to score three goals in his first five games for the Robins prior to his injury after joining from Stoke over the summer, and this now means Johnson is once again short of options in the attacking department.
He could turn to the likes of Antoine Semenyo and Famara Diedhiou to replace Afobe in the side, but it has now emerged the club have recently been monitoring Hooper’s contract situation amid their striker concerns.
MacGregor has revealed the Robins have been tracking the 31-year-old, but it now appears unlikely he will join the Ashton Gate outfit after the deal fell through.
“We heard this week that there had been some tentative interest in Gary Hooper but the latest, we’ve been told, was that it had fallen through,” MacGregor said in a Bristol Live Q&A.
Hooper spent four seasons at Sheffield Wednesday prior to his release, where he scored a total of 31 times in 89 appearances for the Owls.
It is surprising that Hooper has not yet been picked up by a club given his solid goalscoring record for the Owls, and it would have been interesting to see how he would have fared if this move to Bristol City had materialised.
Hooper may not have started every game for the Ashton Gate outfit but he would have provided an excellent option from the bench, as he is someone who can always be counted on to find the target.
The Robins will need to add some attacking firepower to their ranks following Afobe’s injury, but perhaps Johnson is willing to put his trust in Semenyo and Diedhiou until the January transfer window.
Diedhiou managed to bag 13 goals for the Robins last term so he could help alleviate Bristol City’s striker troubles if he can re-discover this goalscoring touch in the near future, but Hooper would have still been a welcome addition to the side.