Verdict on every transfer target linked to Coventry City so far this summer

OK folks, silly season is well underway with Coventry City already linked with interest in several players while a number of existing members of the squad are claimed to be on the wanted lists of other clubs.

The summer transfer window officially opens for business next week (June 14) but that hasn’t stopped deals being done, with the Sky Blues quick off the mark with their first new recruit, Raphael Borges Rodrigues, a 20-year-old winger from Australian A-League side Macarthur FC for an undisclosed fee. He joins Peterborough United wide man Ephron Mason-Clark, whose move was agreed in January and delayed until the end of the campaign, with the powerful forward due to report for pre-season training early next month.

That’s two through the door so far but there are still a few more expected to follow as Mark Robins looks to add strength and quality to take his improving and evolving team to the next level, able to compete with a sustained push for promotion. Several positions are expected to be filled, not least in midfield as the club looks to replace Callum O’Hare.

Elsewhere, depending on the futures of existing players like Matty Godden, Jake Bidwell and Ben Wilson, City could well be in the market for a new striker/goal scoring forward, a left-back and goalkeeper. With Louis Binks returning to his parent club Bologna following his season-long loan, Robins will also need more competition and back-up at centre-half.

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Players linked so far:

Andrian Kraev

The Sky Blues are reported to be one of three Championship clubs, including Hull and Middlesbrough, keen on Levski Sofia’s Andrian Kraev, according to Bulgarian outlet The 25-year-old was being forced to train with the top flight club’s reserves after refusing to sign a new contract, with the player due to be available on a free transfer in July when his contract comes to an end.

Kraev, who is 6ft 3 inches tall, is primarily a holding midfielder but can play further forward in an attacking role, and his stats show that he’s scored seven goals and provided nine assists in 109 matches for the club since signing from Heber in 2020.

Verdict: Kraev fits City’s usual targeted age range and the fact that he’s available on a free will be appealing. The club have spread their net far and wide in recent years and Europe has proved to be fruitful in terms of plucking talented players capable of competing in England’s second tier and higher.

Harrison Burrows

It is well documented that Posh owner Darragh MacAnthony said in January that Doug King asked for an ‘option’ on another of his players when doing the deal for Ephron Mason-Clark, amid interest in a number of Peterborough’s players. Burrows was the EFL League One Player of the Season and made 58 appearances this last season, and has played over 150 first team games, including 36 in the Championship in 2021/22. Described as a natural midfielder whose defensive work at left-back is coming on quickly, he’s good going forward and an accurate passer. He is a lovely crosser of the ball and provided an outstanding 12 goals and 14 assists in all competitions last term.

Although his contract is up in the summer, Posh have an option of a further year and are fully expected to trigger that, meaning he will cost money.

Verdict: It’s understood that Robins is keen to add strength at left-back amid uncertainty over Jake Bidwell’s future and, at 22, Burrows is the right age.

Connor Barron

City are understood to be interested in highly-rated Scotland Under-21 international Connor Barron who will be out of contract this summer.

The 21-year-old Aberdeen midfielder has been offered a new contract but interest is mounting for the deep lying playmaker, with the Sky Blues and Swansea of the English Championship reported to be ‘keen,’ according to our sister title the Daily Record, while Bologna, the report claims, have joined the growing list of Italian clubs who are weighing up a summer move for the player, who it is claimed will be available to be signed for just over £500,000 in training compensation. It is claimed Barron already has pre-contracts on the table.

He is said to have taken his game to another level this last season, playing regularly and shining under Aberdeen interim coach Peter Leven. Aberdeen have offered the Scotland Under-21 star and vice captain a new deal but it is now looking increasingly likely that he will move on.

Verdict: The Sky Blues still haven’t replaced Gustavo Hamer, and Barron is seen as a dynamic midfielder who can do a bit of everything like the outstanding Dutch/Brazilian, from winning the ball to creating attacking opportunities. He comes at a great price and his age also means he perfectly fits City’s development model of taking up and coming young players and helping to turn them into star assets under the expert coaching of Adi Viveash.

Alan Browne

The Sun’s Alan Nixon reported last month that the Sky Blues are keen on the versatile 29-year-old Preston North End midfielder who is out of contract this summer after ten years at Deepdale, including nine seasons in the Championship. The experienced Browne can play in a number of roles in the middle of the park, as well as out wide, and scored four goals and provided four assists for his team last term.

North End are keen to keep the player and it’s claimed the club have ‘upped’ their attempts to get him to sign by offering a ‘record’ deal to stay.

Verdict: Although at the top end of City’s usual age range, Mark Robins’ side is short on experienced players and the manager said following the departure of Kyle McFadzean that he wanted to replace that element in his squad. A fit and versatile midfielder, Browne might be an ideal addition on a free.

Jack Rudoni

It is claimed, again by The Sun’s transfer specialist Alan Nixon, that City have been interested in newly-relegated Huddersfield Town’s driving central midfielder, who can also operate out wide. The report, however, says that the Sky Blues have been ‘put off’ by a ‘stunning’ £10million asking price for the 22-year-old forward who, Nixon says, is seen as an ‘ideal replacement’ for Callum O’Hare.

Verdict: Although a talented player with plenty of potential to develop further, £10m appears to be a ridiculous and unrealistic fee which Coventry, quite rightly, would not be prepared to pay. The club should have some cash to spend this summer but it’s unlikely Doug King will be breaking the club’s record transfer fee again, just 12 months on from Haji Wright’s arrival.

Josh Windass

Coventry and Hull City are said to be ‘leading the hunt’ to sign Sheffield Wednesday star Josh Windass on a free transfer this summer, according to another transfer specialist, Pete O’Rourke. He says that both clubs are keen to boost their attacking options and are ‘planning to make the 30-year-old an offer over the coming weeks.’

Windass, son of former Bradford City and Hull legend Dean, scored six goals and provided two assists in 25 appearances to help Wednesday retain their Championship status last term.

Verdict: A bit old for City’s usual recruitment model although his availability on a free transfer would be appealing, as would his versatility in being able to play in a variety of forward positions and fact that he has scored 40 goals and laid on 17 assists in 135 appearances.

Alvyn Sanches

Express Sport claims the Sky Blues are one of a number of clubs in Europe, including Celtic and Stoke, to be ‘interested’ in FC Lausanne-Sport midfielder Alvyn Sanches. The 21-year-old is rated as one of the most exciting young talents in Swiss football and, according the report, he is valued at £4.3m by his club.

He notched six goals in 27 appearances from the middle of the park last term and it is claimed that City have been ‘keeping a close eye on Sanches’ situation.’

Verdict: The right age and perfectly fits City’s development model in line with a lot of last summer’s signings, many of whom Doug King shelled out decent fees on. Whether City have that sort of cash this summer, however, remains to be seen.

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