Bristol City boss reveals new development in ‘complicated’ pursuit of Nketiah

Date published: Monday 13th January 2020 2:41

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Bristol City manager Lee Johnson has given an update on the club’s bid to sign Arsenal starlet Eddie Nketiah as a development behind the scenes could potentially hinder them.

It’s been suggested that the Robins are the frontrunners in a three-way tussle with Championship rivals Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest to sign the 20-year-old on loan, having missed out to Leeds on his signature in the summer.

Nketiah was recalled by his parent club Arsenal after failing to be given a sufficient amount of first-team minutes by Leeds, not given a league start until after Christmas.

But he nevertheless made an impression during his half-season loan, scoring three goals off the bench in their bid to win promotion, and getting on the scoresheet on both of his starts in the League Cup.

His departure from Leeds leaves Marcelo Bielsa’s promotion-chasers scrambling to sign a replacement forward during the January transfer window, with Southampton’s Che Adams reportedly the target.

There’s been a suggestion that a Premier League club could make a late swoop for Nketiah, while Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has downplayed the idea he could have a role to play for his parent club with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang being served a three-match ban.

 

“I think he might have changed agent,” said Johnson after Bristol City’s 2-0 win over Wigan Athletic on Saturday.

“Things like that can complicate it. Things like that can complicate any move.

“But it happens a lot. It’s not something that’s out of the ordinary though.”

Bristol City currently sit ninth in the Championship table, just one point off the play-offs.

But they’re quite short in centre-forward options, although their current first-choice option Famara Diédhiou is in good form with three goals in his last four appearances and a man of the match display in their win at Wigan.

But Johnson’s made no secret of his desire to sign another striker in January, with Stoke City loanee Benik Afobe suffering a cruciate ligament injury that could potentially see him sidelined until next season.

“He’s very happy at the moment in terms of his injury and the way he’s progressing within that injury,” he added, on Afobe.

“He’s our player until the end of the season. So if he’s ready come March or April then he’s in.”

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