Bristol City manager Nigel Pearson is planning a reunion with two former Leicester City midfielders at Ashton Gate with Matty James potentially joined by Wales international Andy King.
As reported by Bristol Live last month, James has been on the Robins boss’ wishlist for some time as he seeks to build a new spine to his team for the 2021/22 Championship season.
On Saturday, in an interview with Robins TV, Pearson admitted he wants five players – two central defenders, two central midfielders and a striker – and as well as interest in James, reports have stated that 32-year-old King could follow him to the West Country.
Football Insider have reported that City are in “advanced talks” with the former Foxes duo to sign them on free transfers. James is being released by Leicester after nine years while King is out of contract at Belgian club OH Leuven.
King worked with Pearson throughout his two spells at the club over five-and-a-half years, first as an up-and-coming prospect and then as an established first-team player.
Bristol Live understands that there is growing confidence within BS3 that James will be a City player for next season, with Swansea and Cardiff also interested, but a deal is yet to be completed.
Pearson indicated in his address to supporters over the weekend that he was keen to have some transfers completed before the players convene for pre-season.
The squad are due in for testing on Thursday and Friday, with the results then determining if they begin their summer fitness schedule on Monday or later next week.
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King, much like another former Leicester teammate in Danny Simpson, has been in the wilderness a little since he was released at the King Power Stadium last summer.
After spending the 2019/20 season on loan at Rangers and Huddersfield, he then signed for Leicester’s parent club OH Leuven, another of Pearson’s former employers, in January but made just one appearance in the Jupiler Pro League.
Although originally Maidenhead in Berkshire, King does have significant history and roots in the West Country having been born in Barnstaple while his parents were on holiday, while he comes from a family of Bristol City fans.
He told the Leicester Mercury in 2008: “My dad, grandfather and brothers all supported Bristol City – and so they were my club when I was growing up. There will be no split loyalties. The family will be supporting me!”