‘”IF it’s £10 million-plus from a Championship club, we’re still not looking at it,” – Bristol City Chairman on KODJIA
Best Laid Plans
Go back four weeks and the Bristol City chairman Steve Lansdown was laying down the law to potential suitors for their main striker Jonathan Kodjia.
“It would have to be a mega price to prize him away and it would have to be a Premier League side,” Lansdown told BBC Radio Bristol. “People have talked about five or six million – no chance.”
Kodjia had only cost the Robbins £2m when they signed him from France in last year’s summer transfer window. having established themselves back in the Championship, Bristol’s owner was adamant they would not give any rivals in the league the advantage of signing the man who bagged 20 goals for them last season.
“If it’s not £10 million-plus, we’re not even looking at it. If it’s £10 million-plus from a Championship club, we’re still not looking at it,” added Lansdown in his radio interview.
Villa had been interested in the player at this point and it seemed that the Bristol City chairman’s strong words were aimed directly at them.
Flash forward three weeks and while the Bristol chairman got his £10m plus – £11m rising potentially to £15m with add-ons – the Premier League proviso was broken. Money talks, although maybe the three points Villa donated to Bristol at Ashton Gate helped oil the deal through!
Reason for Alternative
The Robins’ earlier resistance in the window perhaps forced Di Matteo and Xia to focus more on trying to prise Abel Hernandez away from the Premier League with reports that he was unhappy at Hull City.
Hull had tried to sell Hernandez before when they were relegated into the Championship (before coming straight-back up), but the trail of suitors had been cold. Now with their club in limbo until a new owner comes in and running on bare bones in terms of fit players and having no manager, it wasn’t ideal that their main goal threat would leave with only hours to go until the transfer window closed.
According to reports though, Hull City had agreed a fee for Hernandez with Villa, but the player wasn’t able to agree personal terms. Until Villa swooped in for Kodija, the Bristol City striker was locked in to sign for someone else…maybe he was heading to Hull, as Hernandez’s replacement? Certainly, it would be an ironic twist of fate – with Hull and Derby sited as the main movers in the chase for Kodija.
We’ll discuss the attributes of Villa’s new striker shortly and what he’ll hopefully bring to the team, the only thing that is of concern with the club’s latest acquisition is Kodija’s recent inclusion in the Ivory Coast’s national team.
Villa could be seeing three of their strike force (also Gestede and Ayew) disappearing off to the Africa Cup of Nations next January, missing four-plus Villa games. It’s not ideal.