Bristol City have started their summer in a promising fashion following a disappointing 2021/23 campaign, much to the delight of their supporters.
Although it’s currently unclear whether the Robins will have the revamp manager Nigel Pearson is craving, the early signs are looking good as they look to have a much more positive season next term.
The addition of Kal Naismith on the expiration of his contract at Luton Town could prove to be one of the signings of the summer with the 30-year-old proving to be an asset both defensively and going forward for the Hatters during their recent promotion-chasing campaign.
Can you remember how much Bristol City paid for these 22 signings?
Mark Sykes also looks like a smart addition on paper, also arriving for free after impressing at Oxford United during 2021/22 as a real attacking force.
Unfortunately, the summer window may also contain some negatives for the second-tier side with some of their prized assets in Han-Noah Massengo, Antoine Semenyo and Alex Scott all likely to attract major interest in the coming months.
The EFL’s profitability and sustainability regulations may also mean Pearson’s side aren’t in a position to reject lucrative offers for some of their top performers if they want to continue operating freely in the transfer market for years to come.
Focusing more on the short term though, we take a look at some of the latest transfer news to break at Ashton Gate.
Semenyo bid rejected
The club have recently knocked back a £9m bid for star striker Semenyo, as per a report from Bristol World.
This may come as no real surprise with the 22-year-old proving to be a crucial cog in the second-tier side’s machine last term, recording eight goals and 12 assists in 31 league appearances as he enjoyed his most successful season in professional football.
It’s currently unclear who submitted this latest bid – but Nottingham Forest had an offer rejected in January and may feel they have the funds to get a deal over the line following their promotion to the Premier League, with Celtic also believed to be interested in the forward.
With the club’s 12-month extension option in mind, his contract doesn’t expire until 2024 and that could enable them to knock back offers throughout the summer with the amount of power they have at the negotiating table.
However, it would be difficult to see City not being tempted by a sizeable eight-figure fee if they were to receive an offer of that magnitude for the Ghanaian, so it will be fascinating to find out whether he remains at Ashton Gate beyond the summer with his possible sale potentially enabling others including Scott, Massengo and Andreas Weimann to stay put.
Competition for Rinomhota
According to Bristol Live, Stoke City have entered the race to recruit Reading midfielder Andy Rinomhota, whose contract expires this summer.
Although the Royals have handed him a deal to remain at the Select Car Leasing Stadium, they are limited in the wages they can offer and that could put their second-tier rivals in pole position to secure his signature with the 25-year-old yet to come to a decision on his future.
The Robins could benefit from his energy in the middle of the park if they are able to win the race for the former non-league midfielder, who can shield what is already looking like a strong defence with Naismith coming in and Timm Klose signing a new contract.
He can also venture forward and cause problems in the final third, proving to be another threat alongside the likes of Sykes in the middle of the park and helping to add even more attacking firepower than the Robins already have.
With pre-season starting very shortly, it would be no real surprise to see him make a decision on his future in the coming days, so this is one saga to keep an eye on.
Watson on radar
Football League World understands Bristol City are one of three Championship sides currently weighing up a move for MK Dons right-back Tennai Watson.
Recording 36 appearances in all competitions for the Buckinghamshire side last term following his arrival from Reading and impressing consistently, the 25-year-old is already proving to officials at the Select Car Leasing Stadium that they should never have let him go.
However, Preston North End and Swansea City are currently keeping the Robins company in this race and with that, the latter could face a bitter battle for the full-back’s signature.
All three will have to fork out a fee to lure him away from Liam Manning’s side with the League One outfit deciding to trigger a one-year extension on his contract last month.
Neither the Lilywhites nor the Swans are expected to be big spenders during this window though, potentially providing Pearson’s side with a reasonably good chance of winning the race for his services if they submit a formal offer.