Brian Tinnion delivers major Bristol City transfer update as Robins summer shopping list grows

-Credit: (Image: Rogan/JMP)
-Credit: (Image: Rogan/JMP)


Bristol City technical director Brian Tinnion has claimed that two attacking players have verbally agreed to join the Robins over the last 24 hours, as the club wait to make their first signing of the summer.

Speaking at an event for Lansdown Club members at the High Performance Centre to coincide with the release of City’s fixtures for 2024/25, Tinnion stated that two deals are being finalised, while also revealing the Robins missed out on a player to a German club last week.

Earlier this month, Tinnion claimed that a deal to sign a “No7” - presumed to be a winger - was close to being concluded but there has been little development since. Reports in France erroneously stated that City had made an unsuccessful bid for Auxerre forward Lassine Sinayoko, a player the Robins are interested in but aren’t willing to meet the Ligue 1 club’s £4m valuation.

Talks, meanwhile, have continued with Burnley to try and bring Scott Twine back to Ashton Gate but the Clarets have maintained a strong stance over the valuation of the 24-year-old, who still has two years remaining on his contract, while their delay in bringing a new manager has complicated the process to a degree.

City’s targets for the summer have been a playmaker, a winger or wide forward and a No9 and the club have been casting their gaze beyond England, with Tinnion previously outlining that the striker options are one domestic-based forward and “three or four” overseas.

But the Robins technical director stated for the first time on Wednesday that “ideally” he’d now like to bring in four attacking players over the course of the transfer window.

“It’s difficult but we’re looking more at the European market now, because we think there’s value there for us,” Tinnion said. “We were really close to getting a striker last Friday and he chose a team in Germany. So it just shows when you go for the foreign ones, and the quality we’re looking at, the teams you’re competing against becomes harder.

“We had a better day yesterday, where it looks like we’ve got two that are done which is getting finalised today so we’re really pleased about that because it’s been a lot of work from January on, really; the targets that we’re looking for, we know what we’re looking for, it’s in the forward areas.

“Fourth-best defence last season and 19th goals for, so we’re looking for attacking players and we’ll be really, really happy if we get them. Two, I think, are done so then we’ll move onto the next two.”

As to the player who seemingly slipped through their fingers, Bristol Live understands the individual in question is Moussa Sylla who was confirmed as a Schalke player on Monday having joined from French second division side Pau - one of the markets the Robins have been looking in. It was between the Bundesliga 2 club and City, as the final two choices, but the 24-year-old opted for a move to Gelsenkirchen.

The rise in number from three to four targets is significant given Tommy Conway’s situation as the striker enters the final 12 months of his contract at Ashton Gate, with seemingly no desire to sign improved terms and so therefore is effectively up for sale.

Should Conway leave over the course of the summer, with Seb Palmer-Houlden having been loaned to Dundee last weekend, that leaves Nahki Wells as City’s only senior frontline striker. Therefore it’s reasonable to guess that the new shopping list incorporates a second striker plus the playmaker and winger as previously desired.

“It’s having different profiles,” Manning said. “Tommy and Nahki are quite similar profile-wise - both decent movement, both off the shoulder - so it’s perhaps having somebody who’s a bit more physical where, being able to change games, you might go a little bit more direct or more crosses.

“A big part of the game is space. If there’s space behind the opposition, it might be that you want somebody who can run. If it’s more duel-based and they’re sat off and we want to be a bit more direct and load it in the box a little bit more then we’ve got that option.

“The big part isn’t necessarily identifying a player, it’s actually looking at the balance of the squad so that, in-game, you can change certain bits around what the game looks like. You don’t necessarily have to change your style completely but you’ve got different profiles where you can tweak it; a quick powerful winger versus a smaller dribbler; or somebody who comes inside.

“It’s having those profiles where, actually, we can go, ‘right, the game needs this a little bit and we can change it to that’ which was difficult at times last year because we had quite a few with similar profiles.

“We’ve got some terrific talent in the building, I think it’s then adding some slightly different profiles to what we’ve got.”

SIGN UP: For our daily Robins newsletter, bringing you the latest from Ashton Gate