Nigel Pearson has his Bristol City players in for fitness tests over the next 48 hours as the start of pre-season draws ever nearer for the Robins manager.
Pearson has admitted, in an ideal world, he’d like some breakthrough to be made in terms of arrivals at Ashton Gate with the 57-year-old, up to now, left frustrated by the lack of movement in the market.
The Robins do appear to be closing in on a move for free agents Matty James and Andy King, formerly of Leicester, while they have been heavily linked for out-of-contract Leeds defender Barry Douglas.
But the latter doesn’t exactly adhere to Pearson’s wishlist of two centre-backs, two central midfielders and a striker.
There is a feeling though that things are slowly clicking into gear across the Championship and that slowly but surely deals are being done. With that in mind here is the latest news and gossip across the second tier …
Arsenal in surprise move for Ramsdale
Arsenal are lining up a £20m move for Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, who has just been called up to the England squad at Euro 2020 following an injury to Dean Henderson.
According to The Sun and Sky Sports, the Gunners are concerned that the goalkeeper spot could become a problem position with Bernd Leno potentially set for a return to Germany and Mat Ryan’s loan having ended.
Having spent £20m on Ramsdale from Bournemouth last summer, the Blades want to recoup that figure should Arsenal’s interest translate into a firm offer.
Shrewsbury line up Vokes
As reported by Bristol Live, Sam Vokes was offered to Bristol City last month with the Potters seemingly keen to cut their losses on the Wales international forward.
However, the Robins are unlikely to pursue any deal for the 31-year-old who had a poor campaign in the Championship last term, scoring one goal in 31 games but still has one year left on his contract at the bet365 Stadium.
EFL transfer expert Peter O’Rourke is claiming that League One Shrewsbury Town, managed by former Bristol City boss Steve Cotterill, are now considering a move for Vokes.
Blackburn consider Armstrong replacement
Blackpool forward Jerry Yates has been on a Bristol City watchlist since the start of the year following the 24-year-old’s fine season for the Tangerines as they gained promotion to the Championship.
That achievement is likely to have inflated his price-tag beyond what the Robins are willing to pay as manager Nigel Pearson searches for a striker in the summer window.
However, according to Football Insider, Blackburn are considering Yates as a replacement for top-scorer Adam Armstrong should a Premier League club meet the 24-year-old’s £15m valuation. Amstrong has been linked to Southampton, Newcastle and Norwich.
Any activity for Blackburn this summer is considerably complicated by the transfer embargo the club is currently operating under as accounts are yet to be submitted ahead of the June 30 deadline.
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Milwall fend off interest in wonderkid
Millwall have rejected an approach from Swansea City for young forward Abdul Abdulmalik, according to the South London Press.
Abdulmalik is yet to play a first-team game for the Lions but the 18-year-old is wanted by a host of clubs including Rangers, Arsenal and the Swans.
The Lions have offered Abdulmalik a new contract with manager Gary Rowett also mapping out a path for the talented teenager to the first team after his starred in the FA Youth Cup last season.
Hull snap up free agent
Hull City have completed the signing of midfielder Andy Cannon on a free transfer from Portsmouth.
The newly-promoted Tigers have snapped up the 25-year-old on a two-year deal with an option for an extra 12 months following his departure from Fratton Park as Pompey seek to reduce their wage bill.
Cannon scored twice and assisted three goals in 43 appearances as Pompey just missed out on a play-off place in League One.