Bristol City closing in on first summer signing as Brian Tinnion delivers Scott Twine update

Bristol City technical director Brian Tinnion has revealed the Robins are closing in on a winger as their first signing of summer while indicating that the uncertain managerial situation at Burnley could impact their pursuit of Scott Twine.

City’s off-season business so far has been minimal but significantc, with midfielder Joe Williams signing a new three-year contract, but work in terms of making new additions to the squad is likely to accelerate and intensify over the coming weeks as players return from holiday.

Tinnion and head coach Liam Manning have made it clear that City’s main requirements in the forthcoming window are for a striker with a different skillset to Tommy Conway and Nahki Wells, a creative No10 - which is where former loanee Twine comes into the equation - and a winger, given the desire for more pace and line-breaking ability in the squad.

In an extensive interview with the Forever Bristol City podcast, Tinnion discussed the current state of play in the market, outlining that the latter position is one they’re hopeful to fill in the coming days.

“We’re really close to a 7,” Tinnion said. “That’s probably the closest one, which we’re really hopeful of getting over the line in the next couple of days.

“The 9, we’ve got one identified in England and also have probably two or three abroad, who we’re speaking with the agents and having good conversations with them and we’ll see where we are with them. And Scott Twine is one we really like.”

City have excelled in recent summer transfer windows by concluding business relatively early compared to their rivals. Twelve months ago, Rob Dickie, Haydon Roberts and Ross McCrorie were all confirmed before pre-season started and there is a hope that at least one, maybe two will be at the High Performance Centre for the first day of pre-season later this month.

The third who City may have to wait a little longer for is Twine as Burnley remain without a permanent manager following the departure of Vincent Kompany to Bayern Munich. The Clarets loaned the 24-year-old out to Hull City and the Robins last season when they were a Premier League club but their return to the Championship means, in theory, the Wiltshire-born midfielder could become a first-team option for them.

Much of that is dependent on the opinion of who’s in charge at Turf Moor as Craig Bellamy has been installed as acting head coach, while Frank Lampard and Scott Parker have been among the managers linked with the role long term.

Burnley were quoting clubs £5m heading into the January window, with City then able to negotiate a loan move predicated on Twine’s association with Manning at MK Dons and the fact he would be played in a definite central role, as Hull had stationed him to the left.

It seems unlikely the Clarets' asking price would be the same, although Twine still has two years left on his contract, but that could prove irrelevant if a new head coach, whoever that may be, wants to keep him as part of his squad.

“Last year we did really well, we had Dickie done, we had Roberts done and we had McCrorie done really early and we were really happy,” Tinnion added to FBC. “Jason Knight took a bit longer because he was on international duty.

“But we want it done early, we want that first day of pre-season, to have a squad together and ‘go on, let’s go’. Twine might be a little more difficult, because of that situation [at Burnley] but the other two I’d be really disappointed if we didn’t have in for when we come back for pre-season.”

Tinnion added that the striker shortlist featured forwards aged 24 and below who are “physical runners”, and although Twine is a primary target, there are other options the club can pivot to in the playmaking position should a move not be possible.

With the defence well set, and with Rob Atkinson and Kal Naismith to hopefully return to full fitness, plus Max Bird and Adam Murphy joining the central midfield ranks, there is an optimism that if they can get the forward positions right, City have the potential to make significant strides in 2024/25.

“We’ve got other targets, you have to,” Tinnion said. “There’s a budget and you have to work within the budget; we know what we’ve got, we know what we’re trying to do we, we know the positions we want, which is really good, we know the type of player we want. I think we’re in a pretty good place.

“If the defence from last season, plus big Rob Atkinson coming back and Kal, we lost Ross McCrorie for half a season, if they can come back and perform like they performed this season, we’ve got Bird in midfield, to add to Joe Williams who’s re-signed, Knight, Gardner-Hickman and Murphy. If we can just get a few in that front area, that will make a difference and get us a few more goals, then I think we’ll have a pretty good go.”

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