After cancelling the £1.5 million signing of Egyptian Emad Moteab from Ah-Ahly, Bristol City have pulled the plug on another striker, after more concerns about their commitment to the club.
Bristol City manager Gary Johnson today withdrew from the deal to sign Maltese striker Michael Mifsud from Coventry. Johnson stated that the club had agreed a £1.5 million fee with the Sky Blues, but doubts the player’s commitment to the club, and isn’t willing to gamble on their promotion chances:
I can’t commit £1.5million of the club’s money to people that I don’t think can be committed for three years. That means so much to me and this football club.
We’ve worked so hard over the last few years getting where we are with the dressing room we have.
Robins fans may now be wondering if a new striker will ever arrive at Ashton Gate, but they can be sure that when one does, it will be the right type of player for the club. Johnson, who took City to the brink of Premiership football last season, stated that negotiations were conducted in a less than acceptable fashion, causing him to call off the deal:
Him [Mifsud], his representative and lawyer took negotiations to a new level that I’ve never seen before, not in finances necessarily, but in the way they were conducting business.
In my opinion, it wasn’t very professional and certainly not respectful of this football club.
With some South West journalists claiming that City fans might turn on Johnson for being “picky”, he responded that the fans would back him all the way if they had seen what he had:
If the fans were with me when I talked to our last two targets they’d have agreed – leave them and look for the next one.
The search continues for a striker as Bristol City lacked goals last season to add to their solid defensive – bar a 6-0 loss at Ipswich – and strength in midfield. Johnson revealed last week that they were tracking a European striker. The speculation and wait for that striker continues.