Bristol City forced to look elsewhere in transfer market as striker target signs new contract

Bristol City will turn their focus elsewhere in their search for a new striker after Dinamo Zagreb frontman Sandro Kulenovic agreed a new contract with the Croatian club.

Kulenovic was one of the four forward players being considered by City this summer and the Robins had held talks with Dinamo about the availability of the 24-year-old who had only 12 months remaining on his deal at the Stadion Maksimir.

But on Wednesday, Dinamo confirmed the former Croatian Under-21 international has signed a new agreement in Zagreb putting an end to City’s interest after there had been some optimism a transfer could be concluded based on initial talks.

Bristol Live understands City only wanted to sign Kulenovic on a permanent transfer and there is no desire on pursuing a loan arrangement.

Kulenovic, who has spent his professional career in his homeland and twice rejected moves to Nottingham Forest, fitted the brief as desired by head coach Liam Manning and technical director Brian Tinnion of being tall, physical, mobile and with strong penalty box technique.

He was not the only forward on their shortlist, however, and the club will now explore other avenues to add to the arrival of Fally Mayulu who has enjoyed his first training sessions with the senior squad this week having arrived in Bristol over the weekend for a fee worth up to £2.5m.

Kulenovic is not the first target this summer in which City have then been forced to move on from after some encouraging early promise in the process with Auxerre forward Lassine Sinayoko initially seen as attainable only for the Ligue 1 club to drive his value up beyond £4m.

The Robins were also close to securing a move for fellow Mali international Mousa Sylla but the 24-year-old elected to leave Caen to sign for Schalke in the German second division.

City are close to adding Machida Zelvia winger Yu Hirakawa, however the 23-year-old won’t play much of a part in pre-season after being selected for Japan’s Olympic squad, with the tournament in Paris running into early August.

Discussions remain ongoing with Burnley over the transfer of Scott Twine, a process that is likely to accelerate over the coming days providing the Clarets are successful in appointing Scott Parker as their new manager.

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