Bristol City are close to securing the future of versatile forward Andi Weimann as they look to build a squad for eventual promotion to the Premier League, Bristol Live understands.
The Robins announced last month that 11 of 13 players out of contract were departing Ashton Gate, but Weimann is staying bucking that trend and adding to Nigel Pearson’s forward options for 2021/22.
A medical has been pencilled in for later this week and the club are expected to announce confirmation soon.
Nigel Pearson explained at the weekend that the futures of Weimann and full-back Danny Simpson were due to be sorted in the coming days. “Andi Weimann and Danny Simpson, hopefully we’ll secure them in the next week or so,” said the manager on Saturday.
Weimann, who it has been reported has attracted interest from Stoke City where former City boss Dean Holden is fully aware of the talents of the former Aston Villa, Wolves and Derby County striker, is now set to commit himself to Ashton Gate.
City held an option to add another year to Weimann’s contract however a renegotiation has taken place over the last weeks.
Pearson explained at the weekend that the club is looking to reduce their wage bill for the coming season. Bristol Live understands that the Robins have a smaller playing budget for the next campaign, but that is in line with almost every EFL club as the impact of the pandemic come to bear on English football.
Bristol Live understands that Weimann has been offered less money but over a longer period of time. An offer of a three-year deal looks to have swung the talks and all should be completed soon.
The 29-year-old is coming off the back of an unfortunate ACL injury but has proven his fitness at the Robins High Performance Centre behind closed doors, with Pearson keeping a close eye on both Weimann and fellow striker Chris Martin.
That duo will add to existing options Nahki Wells and Antoine Semenyo, with academy graduates Sam Bell, Louis Britton and Saikou Janneh also waiting in the wings.
City are in the market for one more forward with Rotherham’s Michael Smith one key transfer target.
The Robins are also confident on securing Simpson to a new contract. The Robins are without a recognised specialist right-back unless Simpson puts pen to paper, though utility defender Zak Vyner could operate in the position.
Once those deals are tied up the attention will turn to the five new recruits that Pearson is looking for.
“Eleven released, Sess (Steven Sessegnon) going back to Fulham is 12; Andi Weimann and Danny Simpson, hopefully we’ll secure them in the next week or so … but it could be 14 gone,” explained the 57-year-old City boss in a club channel interview at the weekend.
“That’s the reality of it but if I get five players that I want in, I’ll be happy. The bottom line is, we will operate with a smaller squad this year because I don’t want to populate the squad this season with players who I don’t think are motivated to be here.”
Weimann featured in seven games last season, netting two goals before his knee injury. Simpson made three starts and came off the bench against Stoke City in a 2-0 loss at Ashton Gate.