The Bristol Post reports that Glovers boss Gary Johnson has admitted he had no idea Bristol City planned to sign Luke Ayling when he raised his own bid to capture Robins right-back Brendan Moloney.
Gary Johnson was quick off the mark to make a move for the Robins former Irish U-21 right back, when he heard that Moloney has been made available for transfer.
When negotiations started City revealed their intentions to sign the 22 year-old Ayling and the defenders own wishes to move to their West Country rivals.
Ayling turned down a new contract offer at Huish Park in May, his representatives listened to offers from Championship clubs before deciding he wanted to join City over the weekend.
“We began talking to Brendan without the knowledge that Bristol City were interested in Luke. We didn’t know about Luke’s potential move until just under a week ago.” Johnson said
Events moved quickly once free agent Ayling expressed a wish to join City and the two clubs thrashed out a compensation deal for the 22-year-old over the weekend.
Ayling yesterday penned a three-year contract at Ashton Gate, with Moloney moving in the opposite direction on a two-year deal.
Johnson adedd: “I am very happy with the business our club has done. I was surprised that Luke went to Bristol City but both players are good signings for their clubs.”