The Players Linked With City This Summer

Unusually, it has got to June 27th and there’s been little to no speculation around the Imps’ targets.

Usually, someone would have signed by now. Usually, Alan Nixon would have been packing those rumours in on his Twitter feed, but instead, we’re left to speculate amongst ourselves with a veil of secrecy around our potential transfer business.

We have had targets, some are still active, some are dead and gone and others may just be made up by a journalist or two, but I have compiled a list of all the players we have been linked with in press (that I have seen), and what the current state of play may (or may not) be.

These have all come from what I deem to be reputable sources, and may not be comprehensive as I have been a little distorted with others things of late, but I don’t think I’ve missed a rumour, apart from those on message boards rather than in the popular press.

Josh Bowler – Everton (Gone to Blackpool)

We were linked with Everton youngster Josh Bowler, who had come through the ranks at Queens Park Rangers before moving to Everton. Bowler spent time on loan with Hull City, but came to the end of his Everton contract and was released. The story broke before the play-off final, and we were quoted as being in a race with Blackpool for his signature. In the article I did on the rumour, I claimed that our play-off game not only had a place in the Championship at stake, but also Josh Bowler’s signature. So it turned out: Bowler joined the Seasiders last week, at the same time as former Imp loanee Callum Connolly.

Jordan Graham – Gillingham (Gone to Birmingham City)

Another we ‘missed out on’, according to the papers at least, is former Gillingham winger Jordan Graham. I thought there might be legs in this one: he played under Michael Appleton at Oxford and even Sky Sports commented how we expressed interest in the January window. I get the feeling this might have been another ‘go up and we can talk’ situation, and as we know, we didn’t go up. We did talk though if the reports are to be believed, but Lee Bowyer’s Birmingham could offer him the one thing we can’t: second-tier football.

Credit LCFC

Lawrence Vigouroux – Leyton Orient (Contract Expiring)

Chilean stopper Vigouroux was at orient last season, where he impressed winning Player of the Year, but it seems he could be on the move this summer. One outlet, the Newham Recorder, linked him with us, but nothing more has come of it as yet. He performed really well this season for Orient, scooping four awards in their end of season presentations, including Manager’s Player of the Year, Player’s Player of the Year and Fan’s Player of the Year. He played in all 46 of the O’s matches, keeping 16 clean sheets, and we are in need of a keeper. I could even see Michael singing two and loaning out young Sam Long for a season, so this might still have legs.

Josh Griffiths – West Brom (Loan)

Would we see the Imps sign two keepers? We would have to if we want to loan Long out and I’m sure in terms of his development, senior football is on the cards, so perhaps we will bring two in. If we do, I can see Griffiths being one of them. He’s with West Brom and is likely to leave them on loan; a number of clubs have eyed a move for him including Sheff Weds and Portsmouth, but recent reports place us at the head of the queue. I wouldn’t be surprised by an announcement around July 1st.

Tennai Watson – Reading (Free Agent)

24-year-old Watson was linked to us by Football League World, who have had a few exclusives of late as their influence grows. Editor Sam Rourke is a Reading fan and may well have the contacts that make this rumour one to keep an eye on. Watson is a right-back who can operate a bit further forward and I sense he might be direct competition for Regan Poole, replicating the Bramall/Edun dynamic on the left. It’s believed Salford and Blackpool are also watching, but the latter are likely to have him as a reserve, whilst the former might represent a big drop for the academy graduate. It’s one that could still be in the mix, although it isn’t the sort of position we want to hear big news.

Tennai Watson :: Tennai Rosharne Watson :: Reading

Lee Bonis – Portadown (Contracted)

Ireland has been a happy hunting ground for us in the past, with Jeff Hughes and Gareth McAuley two massive signings from across the water. Likewise, Oxford have had success with players from Ireland, Mark Sykes and Gavin Whyte spring to mind, so I’m quite excited by this prospect. Yes, Bonis would be one of those experimental signings, like Anthony Scully, which wouldn’t immediately get fans excited, but who could easily grow into something very special. I can’t find news of him being on the move anywhere at present, although Burnley have been interested also.

Unnamed Loan Player

This is as speculative as they come, and you won’t get anything from it that you don’t already know, but my sources tell me one of the players alluded to in Jez and Liam’s interview with Michael Hortin is an exciting one. I’ve been told a possible announcement could come at the tail end of this week, and that we can expect a young player from the top flight to be joining for the season. The details are very sketchy indeed: it’s a player who operates in the attacking midfield area, rated highly by his parent club that many thought would go on loan in the Championship. Outside of that, I know nothing else (and wouldn’t break trust if I did). I get the sense it is a bit like the Brennan Johnson capture, one that the club are keeping a lid on until the ink is dried.