Bristol City’s Nahki Wells attracting interest from league rivals
Nahki Wells is attracting interest from Sky Bet Championship sides as the new season approaches.
The Bermuda captain, who turned 32 a month ago, is entering the final year of his contact at Bristol City, with the club keen to recoup a transfer fee for one of their highest-paid players.
Among the interested parties is Preston North End with manager Ryan Lowe keen to add some experience to his squad, including two strikers, in their bid to stake a strong claim for promotion. They have also been linked with a move for Andre Gray who is available as a free agent, having left Watford.
Preston have not made an official offer for Wells and are reportedly not willing to pay a transfer fee, as is the case with other interested parties Swansea City and Queens Park Rangers.
Wells remains one of the highest-paid players at City and his salary alone, plus a transfer fee, would have to be considered in any transfer deal.
The injury to Antoine Semenyo has also complicated matters with City left with limited options in attack.
The Ghanaian has been ruled out of preseason and could miss the first month of the season as he recovers from a shin injury.
Nigel Pearson, the City manager, is said to be happy to keep Wells at the club beyond the upcoming season, having often praised his attitude to training, even though he was not a regular starter last season.
“In an ideal world we don't want players to run their contracts down," Pearson said in a press conference last week.
The manager also spoke of the desire to have an element of equality among the wage structure at the club but reiterated he would never begrudge a player for earning good money.
Wells is said to be relaxed about his future and remains happy to stay in Bristol for at least another year, though he ultimately wants to play more first team football.
Preston would offer that, with Lowe dropping a hint this week that Wells is exactly the type of player he wants.
“We definitely want Championship experience, players who have been there, seen it and done it,” said Lowe, as quoted on the Lancashire Live website.“If we can add that quality and those personalities to the group, then it will only benefit us.
“It's important that we do get, potentially, two left-sided players, two strikers and maybe a right-sided player.
“We’re on the lookout and we’ve got to make sure they fit the bill.”
The decision on Wells’s future could drag on until the end of the transfer window on September 1, by which time Semenyo’s recovery from injury will become a lot clearer.
Pearson himself is reportedly in the market for at least three new players and if he can bring in another frontman, then that will increase the chances of Wells being allowed to leave the club.