Transfer Rumour Tracker: Summer 2021

This post is intended as a guide through the dark and murky waters of transfer rumours. It will be updated throughout the summer to analyse just how legitimate any Coventry City-related transfer rumour appears to be. In addition, at the end of the summer, this post will be used to show just how accurate the various sources of transfer rumours are as, hopefully, a guide for future transfer windows.

I will try and be as thorough as possible in trying to find the original source for each rumour. Feel free to send me links either here or on social media to any Coventry City-related transfer rumours. The only rule is that the source has to be either a verified journalist or a page purporting themselves to be a source of transfer rumours, just so I don’t have to run the rule over pure speculation or fantasy.

I have come up with a ratings scale of 0-5 for rumours which goes as follows;

0 – Pure Fantasy

1 – Extremely Unlikely

2 – Believable

3 – Possible

4 – Likely

5 – Almost Certain

Todd Kane | From Queens Park Rangers | Position: RB | Transfer Type: Permanent/Loan | Source: Football Insider | 20th August

Maybe it was that reverse pass that completely foxed Julien Dacosta on Tuesday night against Blackpool, but it appears that Mark Robins has decided that a new right-back is required. At least, that is according to Football Insider, who have linked the Sky Blues with Queens Park Rangers right-back, Todd Kane. A former Chelsea youth-team player, Kane has been a solid Championship player over the past few years, but is currently banished from the QPR first-team after receiving a seven-game ban for using abusive language that referenced ‘nationality or ethnicity’ against Brentford’s Sergi Canos in a game that took place last season.

The first question to be asked about this potential transfer is whether someone who has done something like that should be welcome at Coventry City. The answer, you would hope, is that Mark Robins wouldn’t look to bring Todd Kane in unless he had showed genuine contrition for his actions. Moving beyond that, there is another question to be asked as to whether the need for a better back-up right-back is more pressing than the vacancies at left wing-back and central midfield. While Todd Kane can fill-in for those positions, it would be more optimal to have a more natural option for those roles in case they have to play more than the odd game there. It is a deal that would likely come down to finances, while Kane is heavily out of favour at QPR, Stoke City as a mooted rival for the player could make a deal for a player the team doesn’t urgently need fairly difficult. That’s not to rule out a move for Todd Kane to Coventry City, but it would be a strange prioritisation of the club’s current needs.

Rumour Rating: 2 – Believable

Update – 23rd August: Stoke City boss, Michael O’Neill has rubbished the report that Stoke City are interested in Todd Kane. Speaking after the team’s win against Nottingham Forest on Saturday, O’Neill stated ‘it’s the first time I’ve heard about it [signing Todd Kane] so I would suggest not’. Either there are other people at Stoke City than O’Neill have discussed the possibility of Todd Kane signing for them, or the player’s agent put Stoke’s name in the Football Insider report in order to put pressure on Coventry City in negotiations for the player – or even to put pressure on another, unnamed. club who may be trying to sign Kane. Interesting.

Update – 26th August: West London Sport are reporting that Todd Kane is set to join Coventry City. Coming from an established media source and with previous reports from other outlets to back it up, it’s safe to assume that Todd Kane is set to join the Sky Blues.

Update – 31st August: Todd Kane has been confirmed as signing for Coventry City.

Joe Bennett | From Cardiff City | Position: LB | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: EFL Zone 2 | 1st June

Coventry City need a new left-back, Joe Bennett is an experienced Championship left-back who has just been released by Cardiff City. It’s a believable rumour. However, this rumour becomes unstuck when taken into account the fact that Bennett picked up a cruciate ligament injury back in March, which would make it an incredible risk from Mark Robins were he interested in the 30 year-old defender.

Taking into account the questionable legitimacy of the source, there are two possibilities here. One, the rumour is genuine but has been stolen from another, uncredited source. Two, EFL Zone 2 has made an educated guess in linking a team with a gap in their squad with a player who could fill that gap, but hasn’t taken into account the fact the player is seriously injured. Having been unable to find evidence for the former, this looks likely to be the latter. Seemingly, a rare instance of a rumour from EFL Zone 2 that hasn’t been stolen from elsewhere.

Rumour Rating: 1 – Extremely Unlikely

Update – 31st August: Joe Bennett has been confirmed as signing for Wigan Athletic.

Brandon Mason | To Sunderland | Position: LB | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: SkyBlueInsider | 5th July

Picking a back-up player and club at random, Sky Blue Insider has linked Brandon Mason with a move to Sunderland. In typical Sky Blue Insider style, the rumour is couched is as non-committal tones as possible in case, as is more likely than not, the transfer doesn’t come off. SBI isn’t saying that Mason will move to Sunderland but has ‘caught the eye’ of the League One club. Going even further to water down the rumour, SBI then goes on to say that Mark Robins ‘is keen on keeping the player as back-up’.

The notion that Brandon Mason might stay at the club as back-up is a more notable rumour than the suggestion that he might go to Sunderland. Mark Robins recently stated to the Coventry Telegraph that ‘the left side of the pitch is a priority’, which would suggest that at least one left-back will be recruited this summer. Considering that Josh Reid was signed from Ross County in January as cover in that area of the pitch, SBI seems to be suggesting that the plan is to have three left-backs this season. It’s a case of someone wanting to make up a rumour but not having the courage in their convictions to boldly state something for fear of being called out when it doesn’t happen.

Rumour Rating: 1 – Extremely Unlikely

Update – 20th July: The Portsmouth News are reporting that Brandon Mason has joined Portsmouth on trial ahead of a potential loan switch. Surprisingly, this means that Sky Blue Insider is wrong on two accounts – one, that Mason might go to Sunderland. and two, Mason might stay as back-up – it’s almost like they are completely making it up.

Update – 24th July: Brandon Mason has confirmed on Twitter that he has picked up an injury. This seems to reduce his prospects of joining Portsmouth following his spell on trial there, just how serious and how much it could affect any potential exit for Mason from Coventry City this summer remains to be seen.

Update – 31st August: Brandon Mason has been confirmed as leaving Coventry City.

Bersant Celina | From Dijon | Position: AM/W | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: East Anglian Daily Times | 6th July

If recent rumours are anything to go by, the Sky Blues are very much in the market for at least one impudent, creative, maverick attacking midfielder. Former Manchester City wunderkind, Bersant Celina, joins Bright Enobakhare in the the names mentioned thus far, with Coventry City reportedly ready to hijack a mooted move back to Ipswich Town for Celina, alongside Hull City and Dutch Eredivisie clubs, according to the East Anglian Daily Times.

This would be a pretty exciting signing, were it to come off. Celina had played a handful of games for Manchester City in the pre-Pep Guardiola era, before impressive loan spells at FC Twente and Ipswich Town. At Swansea City, Celina initially looked like becoming a top talent at Championship level but fell out of favour under Steve Cooper for being a bit too much of a free spirit with and without the ball, which has seen Celina’s career stall. Ipswich Town had looked set to bring him back, but the player might be reluctant to take the step down to League One, which is where the Sky Blues stand a chance of getting him. Presumably, it would be a case of one of either Celina or Enobakhare rather than both, I would probably prefer the former.

Rumour Rating: 2 – Believable

Update – 31st August: Bersant Celina has been confirmed as signing for Ipswich Town on a season-long loan.

Christian Walton | From Brighton & Hove Albion | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: Alan Nixon | 16th May

Following the cardinal rule of transfer rumours – if Alan Nixon says it, it’s true – we can be confident there is legitimacy in this link with Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeper, Christian Walton. However, with Nixon reporting the player’s wage demands could be an issue for the club, the chances of this transfer coming off don’t seem to be high.

Having enjoyed successful loan spells at this level with Wigan Athletic and Blackburn Rovers, signing Christian Walton would be a statement of intent. A player who started the season with ambitions of breaking into Brighton & Hove Albion’s starting XI, until an untimely injury got in the way, Walton is a goalkeeper of serious calibre for Championship football that other clubs are likely to be interested in – Norwich City have also been linked. Even if this rumour seems unlikely to happen, at the very least it suggests that Mark Robins is keen to bring in a new goalkeeper this summer – despite having recently handed Ben Wilson a new contract.

Rumour Rating: 3 – Possible

Update – 16th May: This is once again to point out the bare-faced brazenness of rumour accounts such as EFL Zone and Coventry City FC Bible, who have shared this rumour as if it is one of their own, without citing Alan Nixon as the original source. EFL Hub have attempted to look original by adding that Luton Town are in for Walton, presumably because he has been on loan there before, but ignoring that Luton have an established first-choice goalkeeper in Simon Sluga.

Update – 19th July: The Athletic are reporting that Christian Walton will leave Brighton & Hove Albion this summer. Following the signing of Simon Moore and the contract extension for Ben Wilson, it would seem unlikely that Walton’s next club would be Coventry City, but, given there aren’t many other Championship clubs with a vacancy for a goalkeeper, there’s a small chance the club would move for Walton if he was made available at an affordable price.

Update – 30th August: Christian Walton has been confirmed as signing for Ipswich Town. It was reported that Brighton & Hove Albion had dropped their asking price for Walton later in the window, with other Championship sides having been interested. Despite Simon Moore’s excellent start to the season, Walton may be someone the club will revisit signing next summer, although Ipswich’s spending power would likely ensure that if he does well with the Tractor Boys, and wins promotion, he’ll stay in Suffolk.

Elliott Watt | From Bradford City | Position: CM | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: The Daily Record | 28th August

The Sky Blues are competing with Huddersfield Town to sign Bradford City’s midfield maestro, Elliott Watt. The Scottish midfielder has excelled since joining the Bantams, in League Two, last season, regularly dominating games in the fourth-tier and looking like someone with the potential to play at a much higher level. In the final year of his contract, the Daily Record, are reporting that Bradford are looking to cash in on the player, rather than risk losing him on a free transfer next summer.

While this seems a realistic link on paper, Mark Robins has gone on record as stating that only one player will be signed before the end of the transfer window – with QPR full-back, Todd Kane, strongly linked. Perhaps it’s a case of the manager trying to keep his cards close to his chest, but the comments from Robins coming out so recently would seem to put the kibosh on this. This looks to be a case of an agent putting their client’s name out there to put pressure on their current club in contract negotiations – the fact that Elliott Watt for Bradford played on Saturday would suggest that a transfer isn’t imminent. If Watt does leave Bradford before the end of the transfer window, it is unlikely to be to Coventry City.

Rumour Rating: 1 – Extremely Unlikely

Jordan Shipley | To Portsmouth | Position: CM/W/AM | Transfer Type: Loan | Source: The Portsmouth News | 26th August

It has been suggested by The Portsmouth News that Portsmouth are ‘exploring the possibility of a loan move’ for Jordan Shipley. The academy midfielder has ended last season in good form but hasn’t featured in the league this time out, with Jamie Allen appearing to usurp his place as the number one back-up option in central/attacking midfield. It makes sense that Shipley might be available to head out on loan, as someone who has won promotion from League One, it makes sense that one of the better teams from that level may be interested.

While Jordan Shipley currently appears to be out of favour, that could quickly change were the team to pick up one or two injuries in midfield. It would probably take Portsmouth paying the majority of Shipley’s wages in order to make the deal attractive to the Sky Blues, which could free up room to bring in another body in midfield, or to improve the squad elsewhere. With Portsmouth’s budget reportedly quite tight too, that may not be possible. That’s not to rule out the possibility of this move happening, but there are a few moving pieces to align before it occurs.

Rumour Rating: 3 – Possible

Update – 27th August: The Coventry City FC Bible is reporting that Jordan Shipley is set to join Portsmouth on loan. This is a classic case of an account with spurious legitimacy attempting to gain it by one-upping a pre-existing rumour with slightly new information. The move may or may not happen, but, in this instance, the Bible knows nothing.

Jordy Caicedo | From CSKA Sofia | Position: ST | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: Match Telegraph | 20th August

The Sky Blues had scouts at CSKA Sofia in their recent Europa Conference League tie against Viktoria Plzen to keep an eye on Ecuadorean forward, Jody Caicedo, according to the Match Telegraph in Bulgaria, according to journalist Metodi Shumanov. The striker has scored eight league goals in 16 appearances since joining the club in February and is a full Ecuadorean international. While the new work permit system following Brexit has closed the doors to a lot of potential markets in Europe, there is a greater ability for clubs in England to sign South American players, with this rumour suggesting that Coventry City are looking to get in on the act.

With four senior strikers currently on the books, it is hard to see the need for Caicedo currently while there are bigger needs elsewhere in the squad and with money so tight. This could well be a case of the club monitoring a player ahead of a move further down the line, or possibly if they suddenly came into money – perhaps from the sale of a prized asset. Alternatively, with the reports originating in Bulgaria, this could also be a case of a player’s agent throwing an English club’s name into the mix in order to put pressure on CSKA Sofia to hand Caicedo a bigger contract following his excellent form since joining the club. Either way, it is a move that looks unlikely to happen in this transfer window.

Rumour Rating: 1 – Extremely Unlikely

Niall Huggins | From Leeds United | Position: LB | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: Football League World | 5th August

One of those transfer rumours that appears to be over the moment it has been floated, Football League World have linked the Sky Blues with Leeds United left-back, Niall Huggins. With the club seemingly in the market for another left-back, it is a rumour that has some credibility. However, the same source is suggesting that Blackburn Rovers are set to complete the signing of the youngster.

The club are in a bit of a difficult situation with regards to recruiting an additional left-back. Not only is the budget reportedly quite tight, but anyone coming in would be doing so as back-up for the recent signing of Ian Maatsen. Which would suggest to me that the club might be better off keeping Josh Reid around the first-team squad, even though he isn’t deemed quite ready, as any first-team experience Reid picks up this season could potentially help provide the club with the long-term solution at left-back that they need. Ideally, if another left-back is signed, it would be someone with experience who can calm things down if Maatsen – or Josh Reid – struggles over the course of the campaign. The link with Niall Huggins would suggest that finding someone experienced, cheap and willing to be a back-up player is a difficult circle to square.

Rumour Rating: 1 – Extremely Unlikely

Update – 20th August: Niall Huggins has been confirmed as signing for Sunderland.

Jayden Mitchell-Lawson | From Derby County | Position: W | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: ThroughTheGrapeVine | 2nd June

A new rumour account has popped up on the Coventry City scene, ThroughTheGrapeVine, with the confident claim that they get their rumours ‘straight from the horses (sic) mouth’. Having been around for just under a year and with around 300 followers, they have a little more cachet than some of the newer accounts popping up to spread nonsense, although, not a lot more. Their first Coventry City-related rumour this summer is that the club are looking to add Derby County youngster, Jayden Mitchell-Lawson, to the under-23 side, competing with Chesterfield.

It is a rumour boring enough to be believable. However, at 21 years old, Mitchell-Lawson would probably be looking to branch out into first-team football, having done reasonably well in League One on loan at Bristol Rovers. Given that the Sky Blues haven’t really used wingers for nearly two seasons, it would be an odd choice by both club and player but it could be a case of Mitchell-Lawson being both fairly inexpensive and reasonably promising to justify taking a punt on him in case he comes good over the next year or so. It seems a strange link, but not completely ridiculous.

Rumour Rating: 2 – Believable

Update – 20th August: Jayden Mitchell-Lawson has been confirmed as signing for Swindon Town.

Gustavo Hamer | To Rangers, Norwich City, Brighton & Hove Albion, West Bromwich Albion or Brentford | Position: CM | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: Football League World | 6th May

From almost his very first kick of a ball in a Coventry City shirt, it has looked likely that Gustavo Hamer’s stay at the club would be a short one. While his form has dipped over the past couple of months, Hamer has clearly been the team’s best player and bigger clubs will have taken notice of that, not least because a lot of Hamer’s highlights have been very notable.

Just how much legitimacy there is in this specific report by Football League World remains to be seen. As mentioned in the section linking the Sky Blues with Callum Lang, you can almost downgrade the likelihood of any rumour by a factor of the amount of clubs being linked to the player – which there are four of in this report. At the very least, this would suggest that any talks surrounding Gustavo Hamer leaving the club are at an early stage.

Rumour Rating: 3 – Possible

Update – 10th May: It has been reported in The Athletic that West Bromwich Albion have Gustavo Hamer ‘on a list of potential targets following relegation to The Championship. A more trustworthy source, albeit one that suggests talks remain at an early stage, enough to suggest that there will be some very serious interest in Hamer this summer.

Update – 16th May: EFL Hub are claiming that both Rangers and West Bromwich Albion have met the club’s valuation of Hamer – which they reckon is £4m, a believable amount. This hasn’t been substantiated elsewhere. On 11th May, Andy Turner in the Coventry Telegraph reported that no club has yet made contact over Hamer. Looks to me like EFL Hub is jumping the gun in an attempt to be the first to report what is a likely transfer.

Update – 26th July: If you were casually browsing Twitter within the past day, you might have seen a headline from the Daily Record that Rangers are tracking Gustavo Hamer and could be worried that interest in the player has intensified. However, the link in the tweet takes you to a transfer live blog, with the source for this latest update coming from a website called Give Me Sport, which contains the sentence ‘Rangers remain keen on… Gustavo Hamer’, linking to a report posted by the website in early May. One sentence, containing almost no new information, which is then parroted on another website, which then gets shared on Twitter, it underlines how the smallest piece of information can get inflated beyond proportion during the transfer window.

Update – 18th August: A twitter account claiming to be William Ewart, a Retail Marketing Advisor for Rangers, is reporting that the Press Association are reporting that “West Brom & Rangers have met Coventry City’s valuation of £4 million for midfielder Gustavo Hamer”. This is where I begin a deep dive into the strange world of Rangers transfer rumours…

As a big club, there are a lot of Rangers fan sites and transfer accounts competing for attention. The upshot of this is that the smallest pieces of information are dived upon as part of a desire to appear informed. As seen in the update on this rumour above (on the 26th July), this leads to accounts sharing links to accounts, who themselves are sharing links to accounts, et cetera, until you get to the original source, which turns out to be a very small, almost insignificant, piece of information.

I write this prelude because if a source as well known and respected as the Press Association was reporting that Rangers had agreed a fee for Gustavo Hamer, this would be reported by a countless number of websites and social media accounts right now. Instead, it is just this one account. Furthermore, it is a little strange that someone who purportedly works for Rangers is sharing transfer rumours from a second-hand source – surely, they’d either know or be told to keep quiet.

Instead, what I think has happened is that the coverage of Gustavo Hamer’s recent performance against Blackpool has rekindled a desire among the Rangers fanbase to link their club with a player they have been linked with in the past. On the same day, a Rangers fan website posted a story called “Coventry fans sing [Gustavo Hamer’s] name amid £4m Rangers links” which has shared a few of the Tweets Coventry City fans posted following Hamer’s showing against Blackpool, along with reiterating previous links to Rangers from questionable sources earlier in the summer. This ‘William Ewart’ character looks to be attempting to one-up this news story in an attempt to appear informed.

Another rumour to file under ‘complete hokum’ and perhaps an opportunity to feel a little relieved that we don’t support a club as big as Rangers where rubbish like this passes for news.

Declan Drysdale | To Cambridge United | Transfer Type: Loan | Source: EFL Zone 2 | 14th May

If you are looking to build a following as a transfer rumours account, it’s important to mix the outlandish rumours with the mundane. This is an example of the mundane category of rumour that helps garner ‘credibility’ for your account.

Declan Drysdale was on loan at Cambridge United last season, he did okay, he’s likely to be available for another loan, Cambridge might want to sign him again. This is a rumour so mundane that no-one is going to challenge EFL Zone 2 on it. If this guess – because it is a guess – comes off, it makes EFL Zone 2 look informed, if it doesn’t come off, no-one will care that it doesn’t.

Rumour Rating: 2 – Believable

Update – 20th June: Sky Blue Insider is claiming that Declan Drysdale is ‘close’ to returning on loan to Cambridge United as the most mundane Coventry City rumour of the summer continues. While the states that this is because Drysdale made a ‘successful impression’ at Cambridge United, it’s worth noting that he started 12 of a possible 20 games for the U’s after joining on loan in January, which doesn’t strike me as particularly successful, especially for a team that is now playing at a higher level. This is why this rumour has the feel of a bit of a guess in the absence of genuine knowledge.

Update – 16th August: Declan Drysdale has, once again, been linked with a return to Cambridge United, this time by EFL72 Transfer Centre. Once again, this is an account attempting to appear knowledgeable by posting a rumour that seems believable and is so low-key that no-one will care if it doesn’t happen. It’s low effort and complete hogwash.

Jake Clarke-Salter | From Chelsea | Position: CB | Transfer Type: Loan | Source: Various | 4th August

It has been suggested by various sources that Chelsea centre-back, Jake Clarke-Salter, is set to sign for the club on loan. The left-footed former England under-21 international has had a career of ups and downs, struggling in the early part of his career on loan at Bristol Rovers and Charlton, proving his quality with Vitesse Arnhem and in his first season at Birmingham City, but is off the back of a campaign at St Andrew’s where he struggled to get into the starting line-up. Clarke-Salter is a talented player, but with a point to prove, the link to Coventry City makes sense.

Without a respected media outlet reporting on this rumour, the current speculation has to be treated with a pinch of salt. The presence of Adi Viveash as the Sky Blues’ assistant manager has consistently led to links with Chelsea players, which may make this a case of people trying to add two and two together rather than a genuine rumour. There is a need for another central defender at Coventry City, especially a left-footed one, Jake Clarke-Salter is a left-footed central defender who would be realistically available. This certainly seems a credible rumour, but wait until more trusted media outlets report on it – or it’s announced by the club – before believing it to be true.

Rumour Rating: 3 – Possible

Update – 4th August: It has now been confirmed by the Coventry Telegraph that Jake Clarke-Salter is ‘close’ to signing for Coventry City. There’s your trusted media source.

Update – 13th August: Jake Clarke-Salter has been confirmed as signing for Coventry City.

Lawrence Shankland | From Dundee United | Position: ST | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: Ross Armstrong | 4th July

A player that has been repeatedly linked to Coventry City over the past few years, it’s not entirely surprising to see Lawrence Shankland linked again. The link seems to have begun around two years ago, where the Sky Blues scouted the Ayr United side that both he and current central defender, Michael Rose, played for and has been repeated just about every summer since. Shankland has scored at a prolific rate in the Scottish Championship, but is off the back of a pretty underwhelming (by his standards) season in the Scottish Premiership with Dundee United, which is where this rumour begins to lose legitimacy.

If Shankland was ever to have joined Coventry City, it would have been in the summer of 2019, where he would have been available on a free transfer and the club had a vacancy for a poacher in attack. Since then, the club signed Matt Godden, got promoted to the Championship and would have had to pay a decent fee to Dundee United to bring in a player that wasn’t really needed and might not be of the required standard. With the club having signed Martyn Waghorn and looking set to bring in Viktor Gyokeres, there isn’t a vacancy for Shankland to fill and if there was, the club would probably be looking at surer bets than the Scot. Aside from Ross ‘not a football agent, just the son of a former one’ Armstrong, no-one who actually knows anything is linking Shankland with Coventry – it is only MK Dons who have been linked with the player thus far. It’s not going to happen, not now, probably not ever. Forget about Shankland and move on with your lives.

Rumour Rating: 1 – Extremely Unlikely

Update – 11th August: Lawrence Shankland has been confirmed as signing for the Belgian side, Beerschot, who are owned by the same person as Sheffield United.

Leo Østigård | From Brighton & Hove Albion | Position: CB | Transfer Type: Loan/Permanent | Source: Coventry Telegraph | 30th April

As ever with star loan players, the end of their time at the club triggers the beginning of an anxious pursuit of their return. Out of contract this summer, Brighton & Hove Albion hold the option of extending Leo Ostigard’s contract by another year, which they’ll surely take even if they don’t plan on keeping him. Mark Robins has stated to the local press that he’s “had a conversation” with Brighton’s Pathway Development Manager, David Weir, about a return to the club.

There are a lot of factors at play as to whether Leo Ostigard will return to the club. Do Brighton see him as someone who could be part of their first-team squad next season? Would Ostigard attempt to force a move away if he doesn’t get guarantees of first-team football? Would Brighton want to sell Ostigard? Can we afford it? Would other clubs be willing to pay more for Ostigard? Is Ostigard dead-set on a move back to Coventry City? Even with all that up in the air, I think it’s more likely than not that we have seen the last of Ostigard in a Coventry City shirt purely because, even if he doesn’t stay at Brighton, bigger clubs are going to be interested in him and will be better able to afford him.

Rumour Rating: 2 – Believable

Update – 12th May: EFL Transfer News are reporting that Leo Ostigard is set to be handed a new deal by Brighton & Hove Albion and is set to be loaned out. Funnily enough, it sounds an awful lot like an article published the day before by Andy Turner of the Coventry Telegraph wherein Kyle McFadzean stated “I think Brighton have got plans to give him a new deal so I just said to Leo, just sign your new deal and come back.” Which is really just McFadzean’s opinion of what should happen, rather than what actually will happen.

Update – 15th May: In an article for The Athletic it has been speculated by Brighton & Hove Albion reporter, Andy Naylor that “The likelihood is that, one way or another, Ostigard will go.” This has then led to numerous articles and tweets from rumour accounts (EFL Zone 2, Coventry City FC Bible, The 72) asserting that Ostigard will definitely leave Brighton & Hove Albion this summer, using Andy Naylor’s terminology ‘one way or another’. However, the original article it’s based on is based on a writer’s opinion on what may happen, rather than reporting on Brighton’s true intentions for the player. For now, I would take the suggestion that Ostigard will definitely leave Brighton with a pinch of salt.

Update – 14th July: Sky Blue Insider is reporting that Leo Ostigard is ‘very close’ to joining the club on loan ahead of a permanent deal next summer. May I remind you that this is someone on Twitter calling themselves an ‘insider’ and to take this with the heaps of salt that it deserves to, it’s 2021 and I thought people were a little wiser to this. In the real world, Ostigard has been in pre-season training with Brighton & Hove Albion’s first-team, which would indicate that any move away is still a while in the offing.

Update – 19th July: It is being reported in The Athletic that Leo Ostigard will be ‘part of the squad for some, if not all, of pre-season’ at Brighton & Hove Albion. While the writer, Andy Naylor, suggests that it is likeliest that Ostigard will sign a new deal before going out on loan, this is speculation on the part of the writer and not a firm indication of Brighton or the player’s intentions. Nonetheless, this would suggest that any return to Coventry City by Ostigard is not imminent – he is unlikely to be one of the two loan signings the Coventry Telegraph are reporting are set to arrive this week.

Update – 9th August: TeamTalk are reporting that Leo Ostigard has been ‘given the green light’ for a loan move, with the Sky Blues interested. However, the same source are also reporting that six other Championship clubs are also interested – namely, Fulham, Sheffield United, Bournemouth, Barnsley and Middlesbrough. At this point, we probably have to accept that the chances of Ostigard returning to Coventry City are slim to nil. Furthermore, with the incoming arrival of Jake Clarke-Salter, there is a question as to how important bringing Ostigard back would be versus using the remainder of the club’s budget in areas with greater need.

Update – 9th August: It is being reported by the Stoke Sentinel that Stoke City are ‘closing’ in on the signing of Leo Ostigard, with the Potters in the ‘front of the queue’ for the player. Unfortunately, it was always going to be a case of the Sky Blues missing out on Ostigard once bigger Championship clubs entered the race for his services.

Update – 10th August: Leo Ostigard has been confirmed as signing for Stoke City.

Danny Cashman | From Brighton & Hove Albion | Position: ST | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: Football Insider | 4th August

A rumour that first popped up back in April, when a random Brighton fan on Twitter suggested that Danny Cashman was going to sign for Coventry City. It was a rumour that I ignored sharing until now, as I wanted to avoid getting into all the rumours that random people on social media suggest with varying degrees of seriousness. After hearing nothing about this link since the end of April, it looked just to be a strange wind-up. However, it looks like the random person on social media actually knew something.

Football Insider are not only reporting that former Brighton under-23 striker, Danny Cashman, is set to sign for Coventry City but that he will instantly go out on loan to Rochdale of League Two. It is interesting that the club seemingly feel that Cashman would benefit more from playing out on loan rather than integrating into the club’s culture – which seems to be the plan with Fabio Tavares, who was signed in January. However, it could prove a smart piece of business if Cashman, who, by all accounts, has impressed immensely at under-23 level in recent years, hits form in League Two, which will make him a bigger asset to the club rather than just him sitting around in under-23 football.

Rumour Rating: 5 – Almost Certain

Update – 6th August: Danny Cashman has been confirmed as a signing for Coventry City, he has been instantly sent out on loan to Rochdale.

Jamie Paterson | From Bristol City | Position: W/AM | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: EFL Zone 2 | 3rd June

Jamie Paterson is from Coventry, supports Coventry City, is an experienced Championship player and is available on a free. It’s surprising that links to the player haven’t started sooner. Not to worry, EFL Zone 2 has finally jumped on the Jamie Paterson to Coventry City train, allowing Sky Blues fans to discuss whether a player with over 200 Championship appearances under their belt would improve this team.

A creative attacking player of proven Championship quality who can operate either out wide or centrally, Paterson is, in many ways, the perfect fit for his Coventry City side, regardless of his links to the club as a supporter. Not necessarily the quickest of attacking players, Paterson’s movement and technical ability are what make him effective in the final third. As someone who can link up with and share the burden with Callum O’Hare in a 3-4-2-1 system, it’s easy to see why Mark Robins would be interested in Paterson, were this rumour to be genuine. Aside from EFL Zone 2, the main piece of speculation surrounding Paterson is that about half the Championship also wants to sign him, with Nottingham Forest, Millwall, Stoke City and Birmingham City cited by Football Insider as interested in the player back in April. That could make signing Paterson difficult, James Collins has demonstrated that the lure of playing for your hometown club may not be enough for the Sky Blues to pull this deal off.

Rumour Rating: 3 – Possible

Update – 17th June: EFL Zone are ‘reporting’ that Jamie Paterson is asking for more money from the club. Looks to be a case of the account wanting to maintain relevance among Coventry City fans, who look to be one of the most active responders to EFL Zone’s tweets.

Update – 22nd June: Former Coventry City goalkeeper, Luke Steele, commented on Jamie Paterson’s Instagram page “Congratulations on the Coventry move mate”, which appeared to confirm that Paterson is set to complete a move to the club. This was picked up on by numerous outlets, including the Coventry Telegraph and our good friends at EFL Zone 2. However, it appears this may just be some ‘top bantz’ on the part of Steele, who has since been dropping likes on every comment suggesting that this is a wind-up. Was Luke Steele covering his tracks after jumping the gun? Is this transfer actually definitely not happening? Who knows? In a long and boring summer of Coventry City transfer news thus far, this is what passes for news.

Update – 19th July: Middlesbrough have announced that they have Jamie Paterson on trial. It’s an especially interesting turn of events given that the player had been linked to more than a few Championship clubs earlier in the window, perhaps a case of someone’s agent overplaying their hand. Regardless, the signing of Bright Enobakhare seems an indication that the Sky Blues have moved on from any interest they might have had in Paterson.

Update – 6th August: Football Insider are reporting that Jamie Paterson is set to sign for Swansea City. If the rumour wasn’t dead already, it is dead now.

Update – 6th August: Jamie Paterson has been confirmed as signing for Swansea City.

Martin Cranie | From Luton Town | Position: CB/RB | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: Coventry Report | 26th July

This isn’t a rumour that has been genuinely started by the account, Coventry Report, but they are the first rumours account to post the rumour that Martin Cranie is set to re-join Coventry City, on a trial basis, at the very least. With the club short on fit central defenders, with Michael Rose, Dominic Hyam and Josh Pask either absent from pre-season thus far or injured, Cranie may just be coming in to fill a gap and get his fitness up following his departure this summer from Luton Town, but there is a chance that this may be the prelude to a permanent return to the club.

Cranie is off the back of a decent spell with Luton Town, providing useful cover at both centre-back and right-back, over the past two seasons, but would be a curious addition to the defence. If everyone is fit, Cranie would be one of six first-team centre-backs and probably wouldn’t get into the starting line-up. The same age as Kyle McFadzean, Cranie wouldn’t be the longer-term replacement for him that the team could do with. Even his versatility can be covered for with Josh Pask, as well as Josh Eccles and Jack Burroughs, who can provide additional cover at right-back. While there is a need for Cranie to come in and help the team through this week’s pre-season fixtures, it is unlikely that he will be needed much longer than that. Coventry Report appears to have jumped the gun in an attempt to appear informed.

Rumour Rating: 1 – Extremely Unlikely

Update – 30th July: The Athletic have confirmed that Martin Cranie is on trial at the club, with a decision expected to be made next week. Perhaps, a sign that a permanent deal isn’t as unlikely as it first seemed.

Update – 4th August: It has been suggested by Andy Turner of the Coventry Telegraph that a move to bring Jake Clarke-Salter on loan to the club ‘would appear to signal the end of any interest’ in Martin Cranie making a return to Coventry City. While this is only Andy Turner’s opinion, he is reasonably well-connected to the club and it does makes sense given how tight the budget reportedly is.

Update – 6th August: Mark Robins has confirmed to the Coventry Telegraph that Martin Cranie is still at the club, but training with the under-23s. It doesn’t necessarily rule out him eventually signing, but it would likely require players such as Josh Pask, Declan Drysdale and Jamie Allen leaving the club first to free up wages.

Pape Souaré | From Unattached | Position: LB | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: Various | 27th July

With the club short on defenders and facing two pre-season games in as many days, Mark Robins has turned to trialists to make up the numbers. Intriguingly, this has turned up former Crystal Palace defender, Pape Souare, who played for the Sky Blues in the recent friendly defeat to Mansfield Town. The Senegal international is perhaps most famous for picking up a serious injury in a car crash during his time at Palace, which has seriously derailed a promising career. Souare was last seen at Troyes, in Ligue 2, but has been without a club for over a year.

While there is arguably a need to add another left-back to the squad, in addition to the reported incoming of Ian Maatsen, the fact that Souare turned out for what was a weakened Sky Blues team against Mansfield suggests that he was there to make up the numbers. With the budget quite tight, the prospect of signing a former Premier League player to act as cover is hard to believe. Furthermore, Souare has played just 22 games over the past five seasons and may not be eligible for a work permit. Just because a player is on trial doesn’t mean the club are seriously considering signing them.

Rumour Rating: 1 – Extremely Unlikely

Update – 6th August: Mark Robins has confirmed to The Coventry Telegraph that Pape Souare is no longer training with the club after his trial period ended.

Keinan Davis | From Aston Villa | Position: ST | Transfer Type: Loan | Source: The Villa Scandal | 14th July

The Sky Blues have four strikers on the books and are short at left-back, central defence and arguably even midfield too, which is, of course, why the club are interested in signing Aston Villa striker, Keinan Davis, on loan. According to the Aston Villa fan-page, The Villa Scandal, Coventry City are rivalling Queens Park Rangers and Stoke City for the 23 year-old striker who has three goals to his name in 73 career league appearances.

Presuming the Sky Blues are actually interested in adding another striker to the books, it would seemingly be because there are concerns over Matt Godden’s fitness after recent injury issues or that either he or Tyler Walker are set to be offloaded. Despite Davis’ poor scoring record, his potential addition would make some sense in that the team is currently short of a target-man who can hold the ball up and that is something that Davis can do very well. However, he would also likely be a relatively expensive loan signing in terms of a potential loan fee and wage contribution, and there are other areas of the team that are a bigger priority. There is a very small chance the club might be thinking of signing another striker and an even smaller chance that the additional striker would be Keinan Davis.

Rumour Rating: 1 – Extremely Unlikely

Update – 18th July: It is being reported that nine clubs are ‘battling for Keinan Davis” signature in The Athletic. It is not mentioned in the article who any of those clubs are. Regardless, that level of competition would suggest that the Sky Blues’ chances of signing the player are pretty low, presuming it is true that he is a player of interest to the club.

Update – 5th August: Keinan Davis has picked up an injury for the first two months of the campaign, which has put the kibosh on a potential loan deal for the first part of the season – which was rumoured to be with Stoke, not Coventry, City – according to the Telegraph.

Dan Crowley | From Birmingham City | Position: CM/AM | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: Transfer Centre 9 | 31st July

The latest in the list of ‘players from Coventry who’ve yet to play for Coventry City’, former Birmingham City creative midfielder has been linked to the Sky Blues by Transfer Centre 9. A player who has shown promise in previous years, starring in the Dutch top-flight with Willem II, before a decent first season with Birmingham City back in 2019/20, Crowley is off the back of a pretty underwhelming campaign. Linked with the Sky Blues in January, Crowley ended up at Hull City in League One, but struggled to get into the team. Released by Birmingham this summer, Crowley had been linked with a move to Cheltenham Town, before failing to agree terms.

While the prior link with Coventry City may lend some credence to this rumour, the player’s recent track record would suggest that he isn’t currently a Championship-calibre player. Furthermore, as a nimble, light-weight creative midfielder, there isn’t really a vacancy for him in the team. Following the departure of Matty James, there is a need to add someone who offers experience and composure in possession in a deeper central midfield role, which Crowley isn’t suited to. Further forward, Callum O’Hare and Bright Enobakhare can do exactly what Crowley can but are more mobile players who can also beat defenders for skill. While there is talent there in Crowley that could be unlocked by the right manager , Mark Robins’ budget is reportedly quite tight, which manes that taking a punt on Crowley makes little sense.

Rumour Rating: 1 – Extremely Unlikely

Update – 4th August: It is being reported by Kent Online that Dan Crowley is on trial with another League One side, this time, Gillingham.

Ryan Gauld | From Farense | Position: AM/W | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: Ross Armstrong | 20th May

For anyone who has played Football Manager over the past decade, Ryan Gauld is a name you’ll be familiar with. The young Scot has led an interesting career, making his debut at 16 years-old for Dundee United in the Scottish Premiership, before electing to move to Lisbon giants Sporting, then sticking around Portugal instead of returning to the United Kingdom once his time at the Jose Alvalade came to an end. After a breakout season in the Portuguese top-flight with Farense, Gauld is seemingly pursuing a move back to these shores in order to improve his chances with the Scottish national team.

According to STV reporter, Chris Harvey, Gauld has at least 30 different offers on the table this summer. Ross Armstrong, who claims to be the son of a former football agent on Twitter, claims that Coventry City are one of the clubs to have put in an offer. It is a move that makes some sense as we could do with at least one more creative player to help reduce the burden on Callum O’Hare – of, if he were to leave this summer – however, Gauld may feel he is slightly above Coventry City. He has been linked to bigger clubs, with Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford mentioned by other media outlets, and it would only be a guarantee of regular football that would be in our favour – however, the player may back himself to get into an upper-end Championship side or even a lower-end Premier League side after an impressive season in the Portuguese top-flight.

Rumour Rating: 1 – Extremely Unlikely

Update – 17th July: Barry Anderson, of the Scotsman and Edinburgh News, is reporting that Ryan Gauld has ‘verbally agreed’ to join MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps, putting an end to what was a pretty unlikely rumour in the first place.

Update – 31st July: Ryan Gauld has been confirmed as signing for Vancouver Whitecaps.

Ian Maatsen | From Chelsea | Position: LB | Transfer Type: Loan | Source: The Athletic | 23rd July

This is a rumour that immediately makes sense as soon as it appears. Coventry City need a new left wing-back, Ian Maatsen is an attacking left-back. Coventry City occasionally sign players from Chelsea because Adi Viveash, the assistant manager, used to work there, Ian Maatsen is from Chelsea. Coventry City are a Championship club, Ian Maatsen did pretty well in League One last season. Along with this being reported by a genuine, bona-fide, trustable source as The Athletic, this is as legitimate a rumour as it can possibly get.

Maatsen looks set to the Sky Blues’ first-choice left wing-back next season. Arguably a more attacking option from left wing-back than Sam McCallum, Maatsen played a spell of last season in a more advanced role as part of a front three at Charlton Athletic. There are question marks over Maatsen’s defensive ability – he is also pretty short – but that may be less of an issue playing as a wing-back, rather than a full-back. He isn’t the finished product, but no-one the club has or will sign this summer will be.

Rumour Rating: 5 – Almost Certain

Update – 29th July: EFL 72 Hub are reporting that Ian Maatsen is set to sign for Coventry. Funnily enough, a few Coventry City fans who met today with Dave Boddy have also mentioned that Maatsen is set to sign, must be a coincidence.

Update – 30th July: Ian Maatsen has been confirmed as signing for Coventry City.

Rocky Bushiri | From Norwich City | Position: CB | Transfer Type: Loan | Source: Coventry Telegraph | 24th July

With Michael Rose and Dominic Hyam thus far absent from the club’s pre-season games due to illness, Mark Robins has moved to bring in a trialist at centre-back, in Rocky Bushiri, to help fill the void. The Belgian under-21 international joined Norwich City in 2019 but has yet to play for the club, instead going out on loan to Blackpool, before a series of loans back in Belgium. According to Mark Robins, Bushiri is short of fitness due to a recent operation on his knee, but put in a decent performance in the pre-season defeat to Cheltenham Town.

Set to remain on trial, Bushiri will have a further chance to impress Mark Robins ahead of a potential loan move. However, the Belgian is not Robins’ first-choice, with the manager suggesting that a ‘long-term target’ could join the club on loan over ‘the next week to ten days’. The indication is that this ‘long-term target’ is a centre-back, rather than the mooted impending incoming of Ian Maatsen at left wing-back, and is unlikely to be Leo Ostigard. Whether Bushiri could join in addition to this new centre-back seems unlikely given that Mark Robins has commented on how tight the budget is, but it could end up happening if at least two of the following three things happen; the player impresses during the rest of his trial, preferred options fall through, or Norwich make Bushiri available at a low cost.

Rumour Rating: 2 – Believable

Update – 30th July: The Athletic are reporting that Mark Robins will let Bushiri return to Norwich City following his trial with the Sky Blues. That’s that then.

Josh Pask | To… Pastures New | Position: CB/RB | Transfer Type: Loan/Permanent | Source: Football Insider | 29th July

According to Football Insider, Josh Pask has been told ‘to find another club’ by the Sky Blues. The versatile defender has had a rough time of it at Coventry City, beginning his Sky Blues career injured and never really being given the opportunity subsequently to force himself into the team. Pask’s best opportunity for game time came last year, however, the Championship was probably a level or two too high for a player who has never really had a chance to play regular football ever in his career. A move away to a club where he would be first-choice is just what Josh Pask needs.

This news would suggest to me that there is a new centre-back on their way into the club imminently. Were Pask to leave right now, it would leave the team with just four options – Hyam, Rose, McFadzean and Drysdale – to cover three centre-back positions, indicating that the club is making room for at least one new centre-back. As cover at right-back, the emergence of Jack Burroughs and Josh Eccles as options towards the end of last season means there is even less of a need to keep Pask around. The one fly in the ointment is that no specific club has been named in the report, meaning it is likely that someone at the club is using this to try and get Josh Pask’s name out there. While there is likely to be interest in him from League One & Two clubs, the question is whether anyone is going to stump up enough in terms of wages to make it worthwhile for the club to let Pask go.

Rumour Rating: 4 – Likely

Udoka Chima | From Unattached | Position: CB | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: All Nigeria Soccer | 1st July

This is a curious one, Nigerian football website, All Nigeria Soccer, are reporting that Coventry City are vying with Newcastle United and Braga for the signing of former Burnley centre-back, Udoka Chima. The Nigerian defender has been without a club since the end of last season, but that apparently hasn’t cooled the interest in his services. According to the website, Chima will train with the Sky Blues for the week beginning 5th July, and then train at both Newcastle and Braga before he makes his decision as to who to sign for – presuming, that is, that he has more than one offer following his trial spells.

Given the player’s age (19) and lack of first-team experience, this looks like a potential signing for the under-23 side. All Nigeria Soccer also reports that the Sky Blues attempted to sign Chima three years ago, before he joined Burnley.

Rumour Rating: 3 – Possible

Update – 29th July: After appearing for the Sky Blues in a couple of pre-season friendlies, Chima has gone on to sign for Scottish side, Queen of the South.

Sam Vokes | From Stoke City | Position: ST | Transfer Type: Loan | Source: Darren Witcoop | 30th June

According to Darren Witcoop of The Mirror, the Sky Blues are rivalling both Bristol City and Shrewsbury Town for the loan signing of Sam Vokes. A player who nearly signed for the club just over ten years ago when Chris Coleman is in charge, Vokes is now a vastly-experienced (a.k.a. a bit past it) striker who is surplus to requirements at Stoke City.

While Vokes’ physical presence could be useful as a replacement for Maxime Biamou, with the addition of Championship nous, he is someone whose best days appear to be behind him. As valuable as Vokes’ experience could be, if the reported signing of Martyn Waghorn were to come off, it would leave the club with three strikers over the age of 30 come the start of the season. Given the financial position of the club more or less requires the ability to sell players on for a profit, having too many players in the squad with little to no re-sale value risks putting the club on a downward trajectory when those experienced players are released are go beyond their years of effectiveness. Signing Vokes wouldn’t come without its benefits, but there are surely too many downsides to make his addition worthwhile. Nigel Pearson is welcome to add him to his Dad’s Army at Bristol City.

Rumour Rating: 3 – Possible

Update: 26th July – Football Insider are reporting that Sam Vokes is ‘in advanced talks’ to join Wycombe Wanderers, putting to bed a rumour that probably died when Martyn Waghorn signed for the club.

Update – 28th July: Sam Vokes has been announced as signing for Wycombe Wanderers, which is apparently ‘a coup’ – I know it’s relative to the level, but Vokes scored zero goals in 30 appearances last season.

Matija Sarkic | From Wolverhampton Wanderers | Position: GK | Transfer Type: Loan | Source: Coventry Telegraph | 7th June

The second goalkeeper link of the summer, this time, it’s young Wolverhampton Wanderers stopper, Matija Sarkic who has been named as a Sky Blues target. The tall former Aston Villa youngster is fresh off the back of an impressive, albeit injury-hit, season at Shrewsbury Town in League One, making a step-up to the Championship a natural progression. With Coventry City having an open vacancy in goal, it is a link that makes perfect sense.

While it would be preferable to have a new goalkeeper on a permanent deal this, likely, loan deal may be a case of signing the best, most affordable available option. Sarkic is a decent shot-stopper but is also good with his feet and commanding of his penalty area, rectifying deficiencies that Coventry City have had in goal for quite a long time. The injury issues would be the main area of concern with signing Sarkic, but he would represent an upgrade on what the club currently has.

Rumour Rating: 4 – Likely

Update – 25th June: EFL Zone 2 is linking the Sky Blues with Matija Sarkic, having linked the club with Simon Moore the previous day, stating that it ‘will definitely be one or the other’, which feels like them hedging their bets. Once again, this is a rumour that appears to have been ripped from the pages of the Sky Blues Talk forum, with the poster, Frostie, stating ‘pretty good source tells me that Sarkic is our new keeper’. This leaves the possibility that both Moore and Sarkic could be signing, or that one of the ITKs on Sky Blues Talk may not as in the know as they’re claiming to be.

Update – 27th June: Those bastions of Coventry City transfer rumours, the Coventry City FC Bible and Sky Blue Insider, are claiming that Matija Sarkic is set to join the club. It seems to be an educated guess from both accounts given that it is now just a few short days until pre-season begins and the club has just sold a goalkeeper, perhaps emboldened by the respected journalist, Alan Nixon, stating on the same day that the club are ‘signing a keeper this week’.

Update – 28th June: The Coventry Telegraph have reported that ‘contrary to reports, [Matija Sarkic] is not on the club’s radar’, which is especially odd given that the Coventry Telegraph were the first outlet to report that the Sky Blues were looking at Sarkic – although, it was couched as ‘sources in the Black Country’.

Update – 26th July: Matija Sarkic has been confirmed as signing for Birmingham City.

Tommy Doyle | From Manchester City | Position: CM | Transfer Type: Loan | Source: Football League World | 16th July

One of those rumours that dies as soon as it has been floated, Coventry City have been linked with Manchester City midfielder, Tommy Doyle. So have nine other Championship clubs, including Sheffield United, West Bromwich Albion and Fulham.

Were we to ‘win the race’ for Tommy Doyle, a central midfielder who is one of Manchester City’s better academy products in recent years, it would likely be down to being able to guarantee first-team football. With Liam Kelly, Gustavo Hamer, Ben Sheaf and Josh Eccles on the books – as well as Jordan Shipley and Jamie Allen – it is a guarantee we couldn’t really make. If there is a vacancy in central midfielder, it would be for a defensive-minded enforcer who can take the reins from Liam Kelly, and Tommy Doyle isn’t that kind of player. For both the club and the player, this is a deal that has little appeal.

Rumour Rating: 1 – Extremely Unlikely

Bright Enobakhare | From East Bengal | Position: AM | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: Indian Futbol Forward Together | 3rd July

According to the Instagram page, Indian Futbol Forward Together, Bright Enobakhare has ‘received [a] lucrative offer from EFL club Coventry City’. This is a rumour that comes with a significant health warning as to the reliability of the source, an Instagram page with just under 1,000 followers, which is probably equivalent to the health warning given to any manager wanting to sign Bright Enobakhare.

We all saw just how good Bright was in a Coventry City shirt back in 2019, when he lit up League One with a series of confident and skilful displays. The Nigerian excelled after handed what was reportedly quite a free-role by Mark Robins both on and off the pitch, which goes some way to explaining why he has struggled with taking the next step in his career. The temptation with Bright is that if Robins can get a similar tune out of him as he did in his previous spell, it adds that extra creativity the team could do with. However, the major doubt would be whether Robins would be able to get away with singling out Bright for the same kind of star treatment at Championship level as he did in League One. It would be fun if it happens.

Rumour Rating: 2 – Believable

Update – 4th July: The Coventry Telegraph have added further fuel to the fire by stating in a report that ‘the Sky Blues are interested in talking to’ Enobakhare. It would suggest that any move to bring the Nigerian back to the club are at an early stage but there is some level of interest, whether it will happen remains to be seen.

Update – 5th July: A brand new Coventry City transfer rumour account, called Coventry Report, has popped up to say that Bright Enobakhare has had a medical in Solihull ahead of a move to the club. For anyone thinking this is yet another dodgy transfer rumour account, bear in mind that the actual (Coventry City) Bible has backed up this rumour. Expect a photo of Bright and Mark Robins shaking hands at the CBS Arena imminently.

Update – 9th July: Football Insider are reporting that Bright Enobakhare is ‘in advanced talks’ to re-join Coventry City. According to the article, a source close to the club has indicated that the deal is ‘close’. It really looks like this is happening.

Update – 13th July: Bright Enobakhare has been confirmed as signing for Coventry City.

Viktor Gyökeres | From Brighton & Hove Albion | Position: ST/W | Transfer Type: Loan/Permanent | Source: Coventry Telegraph | 27th April

A bit of an off-the-cuff remark from Mark Robins has lead to the suggestion that the club are looking to retain Viktor Gyokeres for next season after some decent performances on loan over the second half of the campaign. This is what was said “I would consider him all day because as a young striker he’s got that desire and mentality, so yeah, I’d definitely consider him for moving forward. One hundred per cent.” From that, it sounds like there is pretty strong interest, but I wonder whether it was a case of Mark Robins coming out with something on the spot rather than revealing more detailed plans.

Gyokeres has been a decent loan signing who has occasionally shown signs of being really good but has also shown signs of being quite bad. There is a chance that, with a full pre-season and a consistent run in the side, he could prove to be a really good Championship striker. There’s also a chance that he could remain a fringe player and never really get going. The club could do a lot worse than bring Gyokeres back, but it’s possible that we may want to see if we can get anyone better in first before settling on him.

Rumour Rating: 3 – Possible

Update – 13th May: EFL Hub are reporting that Coventry City have ‘opened talks’ with Brighton over bringing Viktor Gyokeres back on a loan deal. Not the hardest to make-up rumour, pretty low-hanging fruit for any aspiring transfer rumours account – kids, this is how you get 14,000 followers.

Update – 16th May: EFL Hub are reporting that the Sky Blues are ‘close to agreeing’ a new loan for Gyokeres, with the option to buy. Again, this looks to be a case of an account attempting to maintain relevance by adding a slight update to an obvious rumour.

Update – 29th June: EFL Zone are reporting that Coventry City ‘have submitted a bid in total value of £1 million’ for Viktor Gyokeres, which seems crazy. As ever with EFL Zone, if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that they’ve stolen this news from elsewhere. Swedish news outlet, SportsExpressen have reported that Coventry City and another club have had a SEK12 million (just over £1m) bid accepted by Brighton & Hove Albion for the striker. It seems like an awful lot of money for Viktor Gyokeres.

Update – 3rd July: SportsExpressen are reporting that Viktor Gyokeres is set to undergo a medical at Coventry City next week (the week beginning 5th July) ahead of a multi-million Swedish Kroner transfer.

Update – 9th July: Viktor Gyokeres has been confirmed as signing for Coventry City in a deal reported to be worth 2.8 billion (Bajan Dollars).

Ricardo Dinanga | From Cork City | Position: W | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: EFL Zone 2 | 28th March

The first transfer rumour of the summer came towards the end of March, when, as far as I can tell, EFL Zone 2 were the first to report that Irish youngster, Ricardo Dinanga was on trial at the club. This has since been picked up by more reliable sources, such as the Irish Echo and the Coventry Telegraph. It has been given further credence by Cork City manager (and former Coventry City loanee), Colin Healy, who commented that Dinanga “decided to go down a different pathway” in moving to England. This looks as good as done.

A young, pacey winger with seven first-team appearances to his name in the Irish Premier Division, Dinanga is clearly one for the future. Following the signing of Fabio Tavares back in January, it appears as if the club is looking to strengthen the under-23 side with the hope that the extra competition for places may improve the chances of players eventually making the breakthrough to the first-team.

Rumour Rating: 5 – Almost Certain

Update – 9th July: Ricardo Dinanga has been confirmed as signing for Coventry City.

Liam Walsh | From Bristol City | Position: CM | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: EFL Zone 2 | 15th May

With the news that Liam Walsh has been released by Bristol City on 14th May, it was inevitable that one of these rumour accounts would suggest that a return to Coventry City is on the cards. Having starred for the club on our way to promotion from League One, it would seem logical that Mark Robins would be keen to bring Walsh back.

However, there are also strong reasons why Walsh may not return to Coventry City, not least because we have are well-stocked in midfield – with Ben Sheaf and Matty James looking likely to sign this summer. With other areas of the team more of a priority, it’s hard to see the club moving heaven and earth to sign Walsh – which is reflected in the phrasing of EFL Zone’s rumour. In addition, it is being reported by Wales Online that Walsh is a target for Swansea City, which reflects that the club would face stiff competition to bring Walsh in, making his signing even less likely.

Rumour Rating: 2 – Believable

Update -10th June: Bristol Live have reported that, while the Sky Blues have looked into re-signing Liam Walsh this summer, they ‘have been unable to compete financially’ with the player looking set to join Swansea City.

Update – 5th July: BBC Sport are reporting that talks between Liam Walsh and Swansea City ‘are at an advanced stage’. Given that the BBC have, in general, much higher standards for reporting on transfer rumours, I would consider this to be the signal that any hoping of the Sky Blues signing Walsh to be over.

Update – 8th July: Liam Walsh has been confirmed as signing for Swansea City.

Simon Moore | From Sheffield United | Position: GK | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: EFL Zone 2 | 24th June

With Marko Marosi having departed the club, the attention turns to the identity of the new, presumably first-choice, goalkeeper being recruited. Former Sheffield United keeper, Simon Moore, has been linked by EFL Zone as the man to fill the void. On the one hand, it seems odd to have sold a goalkeeper deemed not good enough for the Championship with someone who has only ever had two seasons as first-choice in his career, both at League One level. On the other, Moore is a little more experienced at Championship level than either Marosi or Wilson and may be seen as a steady option while the club continues a longer-term search for a first-choice keeper.

As ever with EFL Zone, the trustworthiness of their rumours depends on whether they have stolen it from elsewhere or have made it up. In this case, it’s the former, with the rumour originating from the Sky Blues Talk forum on 21st June by poster, Foleshill Cov. Whether that makes it any more believable is debatable, but there is some logic to the rumour given that current goalkeeping coach, Aled Williams, worked with Moore when they were both at Cardiff City – alongside Ben Wilson. Were Moore to sign, it wouldn’t be guaranteed that he would be first-choice, which would either leave the door open for Ben Wilson to hold onto his number one jersey, or allow room for another goalkeeper to sign – with Matija Sarkic of Wolves being linked – making the decision to hand Wilson seem a little strange (unless it was an automatically-triggered clause in his contract).

Rumour Rating: 3 – Possible

Update – 1st July: Alan Nixon is reporting that Simon Moore is set to join Coventry City, and if Alan Nixon says it, it’s probably true.

Update – 3rd July: Simon Moore has been confirmed as signing for Coventry City.

Martyn Waghorn | From Derby County | Position: ST | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: EFL Zone 2 | 28th June

EFL Zone 2 has been back on Sky Blues Talk for its latest rumour, this time taking the suggestion from poster, skybluebeast, that Martyn Waghorn is ‘a done deal’. While any transfer rumour spouted on an internet forum should be taken with heavy pinches of salt, the legitimacy to the rumour comes from the same poster suggesting that Dennis Lawrence was set to be appointed to the coaching staff (which is a really left-field suggestion if it was a guess) two days before it was officially confirmed. At the very least, EFL Zone 2 has done a small amount of homework before stealing this rumour.

Martyn Waghorn would be an unremarkable, but reasonable, signing, if this is to happen. I’m surprised at the extent of the negativity there is in some quarters towards the signing of Waghorn. He is an experienced Championship striker, with a fairly solid scoring record who should complement Godden and Walker pretty well. Perhaps it’s because fans are always desperate for the club to sign that mythical ’20 goal a season striker’ every summer, however, I just don’t see that being a priority this summer, having invested a decent amount on Tyler Walker just under a year ago and with Matt Godden, when fit, showing he can score at a reasonable rate at Championship level last year.

Rumour Rating: 3 – Possible

Update – 28th June: Sky Blue Insider is on the scene to tell us that it is ‘not true’ that the club are set to sign Martyn Waghorn. That’s that then, except our intrepid insider goes on to state that the club ‘are keen on the player but have not approached him’ (covering their bases in case the club does actually sign Waghorn.

Update – 29th June: The Coventry Telegraph have confirmed speculation that the Sky Blues are looking to sign Martyn Waghorn, adding further legitimacy to the rumour which originally surfaced on Sky Blues Talk.

Update – 2nd July: Martyn Waghorn has been confirmed as signing for Coventry City.

Josh Knight | From Leicester City | Position: CB/CM | Transfer Type: Loan/Permanent | Source: EFL Hub | 6th May

Some credit to EFL Hub here, at least this rumour makes some sense. The Sky Blues will probably sign at least one centre-back this summer, Josh Knight is a centre-back (who has also played a lot in midfield), and, having played well for Wycombe Wanderers in the Championship this season, he seems like the kind of player that the club would be in for.

How much truth is there to this rumour? It’s impossible to tell, but the source of the rumour instantly causes doubt in my mind. By linking Knight with Peterborough United – just promoted to the Championship and having previously had Knight on loan – EFL Hub are keeping their bases covered with another likely, perhaps likelier, destination for the player. It is a plausible rumour from a dubious source.

Rumour Rating: 2 – Believable

Update – 1st July: Football Insider are reporting that Josh Knight is set to sign for Peterborough United. That’s that, then.

Update – 2nd July: Josh Knight has been confirmed as signing for Peterborough United.

Alex Rufer | From Wellington Phoenix | Position: CM | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: Adem Kaya | 1st July

I don’t usually post rumours from ‘some guy on Twitter’ because it’s usually made-up, but this one is gaining more traction than it deserves. Some guy called Adem Kaya is reporting that ‘Coventry City are in talks with Wellington Phoenix over the signing of… Alex Rufer’. This is one of those rumours that seems believable because of its obscurity, what reason would anyone have to make this up?

The answer is that there are a lot of compulsive liars on Twitter who know that they can gain traction if they tell the right kind of lies to the right audience. Kaya seems to have used the reports from a few weeks ago that Coventry City had tried to sign a striker called Ben Waine from the same club to lend this ‘rumour’ with credibility. When pushed for his source for the rumour, Kaya cites a podcast called A-League Now, which hasn’t tweeted in just under a year and has nine followers on Twitter. I can confidently tell that this rumour is absolute rubbish.

Rumour Rating: 0 – Pure Fantasy

Ben Sheaf | From Arsenal | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: Alan Nixon | 14th May

There had been some confusion over whether the club would go through with a deal to sign Ben Sheaf permanently that Mark Robins had previously stated was “an obligation”. What had looked to be certain became less so when Sheaf dropped out of the team towards the final months of the season, then picked up an injury which saw him return to Arsenal for treatment. When asked by Andy Turner of the Coventry Telegraph how that affected a potential permanent deal, Mark Robins stated “we’ll cross that bridge at the end of the season”. With Ben Sheaf announced as returning to Arsenal in the released list, it added further fuel to the suggestion that the club had backed out of a permanent deal for the player.

However, Sun journalist, Alan Nixon (a.k.a. the oracle of transfer rumours) has suggested that Sheaf has signed permanently for Coventry City. Unlike most of the other accounts involved in this Rumour Tracker, if Alan Nixon says it, it’s probably true. He an actual journalist with proper sources, and has a very strong track record of getting things right. Presumably, the only reason the deal hasn’t been announced is that the club remains under a transfer embargo.

Rumour Rating: 5 – Almost Certain

Update – 14th May: I just wanted to point out the absolute brazenness of some of these transfer rumour accounts. Around three hours after Alan Nixon tweeted that Sheaf has signed permanently for Coventry City, EFL Zone 2 came out with the same rumour. At the time of writing, EFL Zone 2’s tweet has more retweets that Alan Nixon’s, which could lead some to believe that they are the original source of the rumour. It’s another way to add legitimacy to your bogus rumours account, just copy someone else’s work.

Update – 1st July: Ben Sheaf has finally had his permanent transfer to Coventry City confirmed.

Jorge Grant | From Lincoln City | Position: CM/AM | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: SkyBlueInsider | 26th June

The world-famous Sky Blue Insider is back on the scene with the ‘exclusive’ news that Coventry City are looking to sign Lincoln City midfielder, Jorge Grant. Coincidentally, a few hours earlier, Coventry City fan, Scott Hamilton, posted ‘Jorge Grant to the City… I’ll have some of that’, but that has absolutely nothing to do with Sky Blue Insider’s deep, deep, and very real, connection inside the club. Anyone suggesting otherwise is simply unfortunate not to possess Sky Blue Insider’s level of knowledge about the inner workings of Coventry City.

The rumour has originated because Jorge Grant has started following Coventry City on Twitter, which is what’s classed as an intriguing development in the long, idle summer months of being a football supporter. A close friend of current Sky Blues striker, Tyler Walker, it makes some sense that he might be attracted by the prospect of re-uniting with his former Nottingham Forest and Lincoln City team-mate. Lincoln City have recently confirmed that Grant has a release clause in his contract and are expected him to leave this summer. However, Stoke City have been the only club named thus far by respectable news outlets. With it being impossible to accurately tell on Twitter just when someone has started following an account, it cannot be ascertained whether Grant has started following Coventry City recently, in possible conjunction with an impending transfer.

Rumour Rating: 3 – Possible

Update – 29th June: Football Insider are reporting that Peterborough United ‘are in pole position’ to sign Jorge Grant. Clearly, they haven’t looked at who the player is following on Twitter.

Update – 29th June: Jorge Grant has signed for Peterborough United.

Jamie Allen | To Rotherham United, Ipswich Town, Barnsley or AFC Wimbledon | Position: CM | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: EFL Zone 2 | 11th May

One of the few players in the squad that are in the right part of the Venn diagram of both surplus to requirements and likely to be wanted by other clubs, offloading Jamie Allen this summer will afford Mark Robins the wiggle room to strengthen the squad elsewhere. Not quite good enough for the Championship, Allen is a good player at League One level, making it highly likely that any top-half side in that division would be in for him.

It is a very believable rumour, although the source, EFL Zone 2 is hedging their bets a little by linking Jamie Allen with two clubs, rather than a specific one. It doesn’t take a genius to be able to guess that Allen will be leaving Coventry City this summer, neither to link them with two promotion-chasing League One sides. We’ll see whether EFL Zone 2 is right.

Rumour Rating: 3 – Possible

Update – 16th May: EFL Hub are reporting that Rotherham United, AFC Wimbledon and, for some reason, Barnsley are ‘preparing offers’ for Jamie Allen. Meanwhile, Sky Blue Insider has boldly ruled the possibility of Allen going to Barnsley, as well as AFC Wimbledon. With no respected media outlets reporting on this rumour, it just looks to be a case of rumour accounts copying each other’s work, adding small details in an attempt to get ahead of the other.

Additionally, it’s interesting that this is the second time that EFL Hub have linked Barnsley with a player likely to be on the fringes of our team next season. Do they think Barnsley are still in League One?

Update – 29th June: The Coventry Telegraph are the first respected media outlet to speculate that Jamie Allen may be set for a move away from Coventry City this summer. They have suggested that Wigan Athletic, Portsmouth and Salford City are the clubs interested in Allen – notably, that includes none of the four clubs that were named by the transfer guessers EFL Zone, EFL Hub and Sky Blue Insider.

Nathan Baker | From Bristol City | Position: CB | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: Coventry Telegraph | 27th May

Bristol City’s released list this summer has looked a treasure trove of proven Championship talent, with the likes of Liam Walsh and Jamie Paterson in particular setting Coventry City fans’ mouths drooling. However, the most concrete link to a member of Bristol City’s expendables has proven to be that of centre-back, Nathan Baker. The Coventry Telegraph have reported that “sources in the south west” are speculating that Baker “is keen on move back to the Midlands”, with Coventry the current favourites – presumably, up against Birmingham City and Nottingham Forest (both of whom already have a few centre-backs), as well as Derby County (who are in a state of financial limbo) and West Bromwich Albion (who will likely have their eyes set on more ambitious transfer targets).

It looks to be a potential marriage of convenience for both Baker and Coventry City. The player is looking to move closer to home (having come through the academy at Aston Villa) and the club are looking for an experienced centre-back who can help phase Kyle McFadzean (who will be 35 by the end of next season) out of the team. The main area of concern with this deal is the player’s injury record and potential wage demands. However, if fit, Baker is a high-calibre leadership figure in defence at Championship level and would improve the team. It is likely to come down to what financial agreement can be made given the player’s injury record.

Rumour Rating: 4 – Likely

Update – 28th June: Nathan Baker has signed a new contract at Bristol City. Obviously, he wasn’t as ‘keen on a move back to the Midlands’ as first thought.

Alex Gilliead | From Scunthorpe United | Position: W/AM | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: Football League World | 2nd June

Having once had a trial for the club during the Tony Mowbray era, Alex Gilliead has had an occasionally promising, but largely middling career in Leagues One and Two. A quick winger who can beat players for fun, the issue with Gilliead has consistently been his end product. More recently, he has been one of the better players at a Scunthorpe United side that has struggled in League Two in recent years, often playing in a central role, but hasn’t been close to the level to suggest a move two-tiers higher would be merited.

According to Football League World, Coventry City are interested in GIlliead, alongside Huddersfield Town, Ipswich Town and Sunderland. The links to clubs at the upper end of League One look more realistic, but even they seem a little ambitious given Gilliead’s recent track record. As mentioned earlier in this post, rumours linking players with multiple clubs tend to be the work of agents trying to get their clients’ names out there – often in an attempt to put pressure on their current club, or those genuinely trying to sign the player – which this appears to be.

Rumour Rating: 1 – Extremely Unlikely

Update – 17th June: The Coventry Telegraph are reporting that Alex Gilliead is not a target for the Sky Blues. That’s that then for what already looked an unlikely rumour.

Update – 28th June: Alex Gilliead has been confirmed as signing for Bradford City of League Two.

Ben Amos | From Charlton Athletic | Position: GK | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: Ross Armstrong | 25th June

Coventry City have a vacancy for a new goalkeeper, which means it’s open season for ‘ITK’ accounts to dig deep into their ‘contacts’ and guess which goalkeepers seem the most believable that the club might be in for. Along with Simon Moore, Matija Sarkic has been the strongest link – with rumours having originated on the Sky Blues Talk forum – whom, ‘son of former football agent’ Ross Armstrong, claims is ‘very close to signing’. Then, the man with an incredibly tenuous link to insider knowledge – especially for someone just making things up – goes rogue somewhat in claiming that Charlton Athletic’s Ben Amos is another goalkeeper that the club ‘want to sign’.

Out of contract and having been fairly decent for Charlton last season, Ben Amos isn’t a ridiculous name to pull of the bag. The main reason to doubt this is the source, someone pretending to be the son of a former agent (that’s right, the son, of a former football agent – if that was even true, what reason would we have to believe someone two degrees removed from someone actually working in football?). The mind boggles, but it’s clearly done enough to warrant a mention on this blog so, perhaps, I’m the real loser here.

Rumour Rating: 2 – Believable

Update – 28th June: Ben Amos has been confirmed as a signing for Wigan Athletic.

Chuks Aneke | From Charlton Athletic | Position: AM/ST | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: TEAMtalk | 1st June

Alongside Middlesbrough, Queens Park Rangers, Reading and Bristol City, the Sky Blues are reportedly in for Charlton Athletic forward, Chuks Aneke. The former Arsenal youngster has had a somewhat nomadic career, bouncing around Belgium and the lower leagues of England before carving a niche for himself at Charlton last season as a specialist impact sub. With 15 goals from just 11 starts, there are questions over Aneke’s fitness levels but that level of impact in short bursts is tempting enough in and of itself.

From a Coventry City perspective, Aneke could be tailor-made to provide extra attacking firepower without unsettling the preferred strike partnership of Tyler Walker and Matt Godden. Both physically powerfully and technically adept, Aneke could either act as a replacement for Maxime Biamou or play just behind the striker, providing Mark Robins with a very useful attacking option – although, probably off the bench. Aside from Aneke’s fitness issues, the main reason to doubt this rumour is whether the club has the financial resources and/or pulling power to tempt Aneke away from what are likely to be better offers at clubs with more realistic ambitions of challenging for the play-offs.

Rumour Rating: 2 – Believable

Update – 1st June: Oh, look, it’s EFL Zone again, casually trying to claim credit for a rumour that was started elsewhere.

Update -11th June: The Coventry Telegraph have reported that the Sky Blues have ‘no interest in’ Aneke and ‘have not made an offer’ for the player. Another one to tick off the list.

Update – 25th June: Chuks Aneke has been confirmed as signing for Birmingham City.

Marko Marosi | To… Pastures New | Position: GK | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: Coventry City FC BIble | 12th May

Goalkeeper, Marko Marosi, has been made available for transfer, according to that font of all knowledge, The Bible – well, at least the book of Coventry City FC, which we all read prayers from every Sunday. With Ben Wilson having been, somewhat surprisingly, handed a new contract recently, it would seem logical that, former number one goalkeeper, Marko Marosi may be moved on as a result.

Not that I’m one to doubt The Bible, but, as of now, it appears to be an educated guess. Whether the club would advertise it if Marosi has been transfer-listed remains to be seen, but it hasn’t yet happened and there are no other, more legitimate, sources reporting that Marosi has actually been made available for transfer. That said, Andy Turner of the Coventry Telegraph has suggested that Mark Robins is looking for a new goalkeeper, but, again, that may be a misinterpretation of comments made following the recent Huddersfield Town game where Robins stated that he’s ‘working hard over the summer to make sure that [a goalkeeping error] doesn’t happen again’, which could be referring to coaching rather than a new signing.

Rumour Rating: 3 – Possible

Update – 12th May: Sky Blue Insider is reporting that Marosi hasn’t been transfer-listed but has had ‘club’s (sic) interested in him’, then adding that ‘this could change’. It feels essentially a rehash of the original rumour from Coventry City FC Bible but adding extra information to sound informed (albeit, undermined by poor use of apostrophes). Somehow, I doubt a genuine insider would be able to spread this much information on social media and still maintain inside knowledge of the club.

Update – 10th June: EFL Zone 2 are claiming that Marko Marosi is on Lincoln City’s ‘shortlist of goalkeepers’. As ever with EFL Zone, they have either taken this rumour from elsewhere without crediting the source or have made it up. Hot on their heels, Sky Blue Insider has, coincidentally, also mentioned that Marosi may be heading to Lincoln, adding Charlton as an additional interested party – perhaps so as not to appear as if they are completely copying EFL Zone’s rumour.

Update – 24th June: Football Insider are reporting that Marko Marosi is undergoing a medical at Shrewsbury Town. Leaving aside the article mentioning that Shrewsbury, of League One, ‘finished just one place below the Sky Blues’, this is a rumour from a relatively trustworthy source and I would expect it to be confirmed over the coming days.

Update – 24th June: Just like that, Marko Marosi has been confirmed as signing for Shrewsbury Town.

Matty James | From Leicester City | Position: CM | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: Coventry Telegraph | 4th May

A rumour so obvious that it almost isn’t worth including in this post, but it’s been apparent ever since Matty James signed on loan that a permanent deal was likely to happen. As early as January, Mark Robins stated “Yes, absolutely, why not? If he does well…” when asked if he would like to sign James on a permanent deal. Since then, he has done well and it looks set to be one of the first pieces of business the club does this summer.

The only potential stumbling block would be Matty James’ wages, which are currently, reportedly, well beyond what the club could afford. However, having been paid well for a number of years at Leicester while sustaining injury issues, James is likely to have the financial freedom to value regular football over the biggest potential contract offer. Just how much competition there may be for James is unclear, but there has yet to be any reported rivals. It would be incredibly surprising at this stage if Matty James was not a Coventry City player next season.

Rumour Rating: 5 – Almost Certain

Update: 21st May – Matty James has been officially released by Leicester City upon the expiry of his contract. The usual suspects are already reporting that ‘talks about a permanent move are ongoing’, however, my grandmother who lives in Hertfordshire could also tell you that Matty James is probably sorting out a permanent move to Coventry City.

Update: 25th May – Bristol Live are reporting that Bristol City are looking to sign Matty James, which places the first of any kind of doubt over what had seemed a certain permanent deal for James at Coventry City. Along with probably being able to offer better wages, Bristol City would carry the lure of linking James up with former Leicester City manager, Nigel Pearson. It doesn’t completely rule out the possibility of James signing permanently but indicates that Mark Robins will have to make a convincing case to the player for him to join the Sky Blues.

Oh, and look, EFL Zone has casually shared this rumour too, hoping that there are a few that didn’t catch it when Bristol Live started the story.

Update – 13th June: The Daily Mail are reporting that both Swansea City and Cardiff City are interested in signing Matty James, alongside Bristol City. Notably, Coventry City are not even mentioned in the article as an interested party in the player, although, there has presumably been an effort made to sign James permanently. Regardless, it is looking increasingly less likely that the Sky Blues will be able to compete to sign Matty James.

Also, EFL Zone, is once again trying to pass off someone else’s rumour as their own.

Update – 16th-17th June: Football Insider have reported that Matty James is set to sign for Bristol City, which looked to set to put an end to any hopes of him signing for Coventry City. However, the Coventry Telegraph have later reported that the Sky Blues are still hopeful of keeping James on a permanent deal. However, if you were to ask me, it seems more likely than not that James won’t be a Coventry City player next season, with Bristol City likely offering better wages and linking him up with a former manager in Nigel Pearson.

Update – 23rd June: Matty James has been confirmed as signing for Bristol City.

Ben Cottrell | From Arsenal | Position: AM/CM | Transfer Type: Loan | Source: SkyBlueInsider | 18th June

A promising young Premier League player on loan? That is exactly the sort of signing Coventry City might make this summer. Having yet to make his senior debut, it is hard to tell at just what standard Ben Cottrell might be, which is perhaps why Sky Blue Insider is suggesting that Coventry City are rivalling clubs in both ‘the championship and league one’ for the player.

This is one of those transfer rumours that seems believable because of a lack of knowledge of the player. By keeping the list of rival clubs as broad as possible, the source is giving themselves as much cover as possible in case Ben Cottrell doesn’t join Coventry City. Also, it’s from an ‘Insider’ account with barely over 100 followers. It could happen, it probably won’t, if it does, it will have been a guess.

Rumour Rating: 2 – Believable

George Cox | From Fortuna Sittard | Position: LB | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: EFL Zone 2 | 16th June

A young, English left-back who has had a decent season in the Eredivisie, it seems logical that George Cox would be the type of player that Coventry City would be interested. Perhaps that is why EFL Zone has linked the Sky Blues with the player at the same time that reports have emerged that Queens Park Rangers are interested in Cox.

With no other outlets indicating that Coventry City are interested in George Cox, this is either an amazing EFL Zone exclusive, or they have added the club’s name as an interested party as they know it will garner interactions on social media. Looking at the tweet, nearly all the responses are from Coventry City fans, which would maybe gives a hint as to which of the two possibilities that this ‘link’ with George Cox is really about. Part of me wonders whether I’m a little guilty of giving publicity in the Coventry City social media sphere to what is clearly an attention-seeking ‘transfer rumour’ account.

Rumour Rating: 1 – Extremely Unlikely

Update – 17th June: Football Insider are reporting that QPR have had a £500,000 bid rejected for Cox. Already, that potentially makes the player a little too pricey for what the club may be able to afford in a Covid-affected transfer market. Notably, there isn’t a single mention of Coventry City as a potential rival for QPR for the player in the article.

Allan Campbell | From Motherwell | Position: CM | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: EFL Zone 2 | 7th June

This rumour is a classic example of Twitter eating Twitter that gives birth to transfer rumours. On the 6th of June, Coventry City fan, Cameron Cairns, suggested that Motherwell midfielder, Allan Campbell, should be a player that the club should try and sign. Having seen this, Motherwell fan, Mike Limaone, then states, as fact, that Allan Campbell is going to Coventry City. Coventry City fans then pick up on this and presume that Mike Limaone has based this on insider knowledge of his club. They then ask respected journalist, Alan Nixon, about this ‘link’, who then responds by ambiguously stating ‘a lot of clubs like Campbell’. A day later, our good friends at EFL Zone 2 state that Coventry City are ‘in the race’ for Campbell.

Allan Campbell is a young player who has performed well in the Scottish Premiership and is out of contract, which is what makes this rumour feel believable. However, this specific link has arisen as a result of a series of people misinterpreting each other. It reflects both the desperation for any kind of transfer rumour at this kind of year as well as a desire to appear ‘in the know’. If this transfer does come off, it would have been a remarkable piece of guesswork.

Rumour Rating: 2 – Believable

Update – 15th June: Allan Campbell has signed for Luton Town.

Wes Burns | From Fleetwood Town | Position: RB/W | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: TWTD | 3rd June

According to Ipswich Town fan-site, TWTD, Ipswich Town beat the Sky Blues to the signing of former Fleetwood Town winger/right-back, Wes Burns this summer. It’s an interesting link as Burns doesn’t really seem to fill a hole in the squad – with there being ample cover at right-back, while the team hasn’t played with wingers for a while – and is a 26 year-old with little experience above League One level. However, there seems little reason for TWTD to have made this rumour up, especially after the player has signed.

It looks likely to be a case of Ipswich being able to offer better guarantees of regular football. Furthermore, after their recent takeover, they could well have offered the player better money – with rumours recently suggesting they offered Luton Town centre-back, Sonny Bradley, £10,000-a-week in wages. From a Coventry City perspective, what is most interesting about this link is what this might suggest about Mark Robins plans for the team. It is possible that Mark Robins is either looking to add another option at right-back or may want to play with wingers.

Rumour Rating: n/a – Has Definitely Not Happened

Update – 12th June: The Coventry Telegraph have suggested that the Sky Blues were interested in Wes Burns until Fleetwood Town triggered a clause in the player’s contract that meant a fee would have had to have been paid for his transfer.

Scott Twine | From Swindon Town | Position: AM | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: Coventry City FC Bible | 11th May

The Sky Blues are ‘highly interested’ in Swindon Town’s Scott Twine, of scoring an absolute banger against us in pre-season fame, reports the Coventry City FC Bible. If true, the fly in the ointment is the entirety of the rest of the Football League is also interested in his services. However, if it’s coming from The Bible, surely it must be true.

It’s been a rapid rise to prominence for Twine since that wondergoal in pre-season, going out on loan to Newport County and scoring even more bangers, then coming back to Swindon Town and doing the same. A player who has caught the eye on weekly highlight reels – and available on a free transfer – it’s easy to see why interest in him is so high. Given the source, it seems to me to be wishful thinking from Coventry City fans who watch weekly EFL highlight shows rather than a genuine link. Until a more respected media outlet reports on it, I wouldn’t get my hopes up.

Rumour Rating: 1 – Highly Unlikely

Update – 8th June: Milton Keynes Dons have announced that they have signed Scott Twine.

Jonny Ngandu | To Exeter City | Position: CM | Transfer Type: Loan | Source: Alan Nixon | 26th May

Being a Championship club means that our young players are seen in higher regard than they would have been had we still been in Leagues One or Two. That means that someone like Jonny Ngandu, who has yet to feature for the first-team (outside of the EFL Trophy), has attracted the interest of a decent League Two side in Exeter City. Being reported by Alan Nixon (that’s Alan Nixon, not EFL Zone, who are attempting to claim credit for this rumour on Twitter), it looks like there is a decent chance of this happening, but it’s early days and may depend on just how high on Exeter’s list of summer targets is, how much of a guarantee of first-team football Ngandu can get and whether the player is interested in the move.

Rumour Rating: 3 – Possible

Ben Waine | From Wellington Phoenix | Position: ST | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: Jason Pine | 20th May

A curious one this, it appears that the Sky Blues made an offer for young New Zealand striker, Ben Waine, before the player signed a new deal at his current club, Wellington Phoenix. Reported by multiple outlets, it looks the interest in Waine was serious, but that the player has decided to stay in New Zealand. More than anything, it demonstrates just how widely our scouting net is being cast.

At 19 years old and yet to really make a big impact in the A-League, it would have been interesting to see what the plan would have been with Waine. Probably not quite ready for Championship football, it is understandable why the player has chosen to stay in his home country rather than move to the other side of the world and likely start with the under-23 side. Maybe one to keep an eye on in the future.

Rumour Rating: n/a – Has Definitely Not Happened

James Collins | From Luton Town | Position: ST | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: Football League World | 17th May

A player who has twice nearly signed for Coventry City. The first was in 2013, following relegation from the Championship, where it appears as if a transfer embargo scuppered Andy Thorn’s attempt to sign the Coventry-born striker. Next, in 2017, Mark Robins had made Collins a target for our rebuild in League Two, however, Luton Town were in a better position to bid for the player’s services from Crawley Town. It’s been another four years, so it’s seemingly time to try for Collins again – at least, according to Football League World.

Out of contract at Luton Town this summer, it seems as if half the Championship is interested in the striker who has reached double-figures in successive seasons at this level. Bristol City, Middlesbrough, Derby County and Preston North End have been four teams named thus far, while Football League World is reporting that Cardiff City are also interested and are the likely favourites for the striker. In a position where we already have two good options in Tyler Walker and Matt Godden, it seems strange to me that we would be in for a 30 year-old who is likely to demand fairly high wages. There may be some truth to the rumour, but it’s a move I can’t see happening as it wouldn’t be in the best interests of either the club or the player.

Rumour Rating: 1 – Extremely Unlikely

Update – 19th May: James Collins has signed for Cardiff City

Ellis Simms | From Everton | Position: ST | Transfer Type: Loan | Source: Sky Blue Insider | 13th May

In one of the most strangely phrased transfer rumours I’ve seen, Sky Blue Insider claims that the Sky Blues have shown a ‘small interest’ in young Everton striker, Ellis Simms, but that other Championship sides have ‘more interest’ in the player. Presuming that this person is actually an insider and not just someone spewing nonsense on Twitter for imaginary internet points, how could they have learned that our level of interest in a player is small? If so, why would they bother sharing it?

Sky Blue Insider: Who are we trying to sign?

Mark Robins: Well, there’s this young striker, Ellis Simms…

Sky Blue Insider: Oh, I know him, he’s done quite well on loan at Blackpool.

Mark Robins: Yep. We’re looking at him, but we don’t really want to sign him.

Sky Blue Insider: Okay. Is there anyone else you’re trying to sign?

Mark Robins: [Shrugs shoulders]

Sky Blue Insider: [Internal monologue] Juicy, off to Twitter I go.

It’s not an outlandish rumour – Simms is an up-and-coming young striker who has showed some talent at a lower level – but it’s couched in such vague terms that it conveys that the person writing it doesn’t believe it. If you’re going to run a bogus transfer rumour account, at least have some courage in your convictions!

Rumour Rating: 2 – Possible

Wesley Jobello | To ‘the French League(?)’ | Position: W | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: Coventry City FC Bible | 12th May

My new friends at the Coventry City FC Bible have been on it over the past couple of days and they show no signs of stopping. This time, they have landed the exclusive that Wesley Jobello will leave the Sky Blues this summer to join that famous division, ‘the French League’. While some might interpret the readings of the Coventry City FC Bible to mean the French League – a.k.a. Ligue 1, which would be an incredible move for a player who last played regularly in the English third-tier – I’m guessing, they may just mean somewhere in France.

Having played just 29 minutes of first-team football this season, it’s not hard to believe that Wesley Jobello may well be on his way this summer and, as someone born and raised in France, it is more likely than not that he will return to his home country. Jobello has even recently posted Instagram stories from back in France, adding further credence to him possibly going back there. However, with Jobello having another year left on his contract, it would require someone paying at least some money for him, which could complicate his potential exit. At the moment, it just looks like someone putting two and two together rather than anything imminently occurring.

Rumour Rating: 3- Possible

Update – 12th May: New kids on the block ‘Sky Blue Insider’ is reporting that Jobello has left Coventry City, also adding that he is set for a move to ‘the French League’. Until now, I didn’t realise there was even a division called ‘the French League’ but if both The Bible and someone who is definitely an Insider is reporting it, who am I to disagree?

Callum Lang | From Wigan Athletic | Position: ST | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: Football Insider | 16th April

Alongside Birmingham City and a ‘host of clubs’, the Sky Blues are purportedly chasing Wigan Athletic striker, Callum Lang. From past experience, always be wary of the term ‘a host of clubs’ as it tends to be something vague used by agents in order to put their client’s name out there, often to put pressure on their current club in contract negotiations. That said, Football Insider tends to be a pretty solid source but the legitimacy of this report is hampered by referring to Wigan as ‘cash-strapped’ despite their recent takeover.

If he were to sign, Lang would add a decent level of competition in attack. He would put pressure on Tyler Walker and Matt Godden, but wouldn’t immediately command a starting place. A nippy young forward with good technical ability, Lang looks to be a good prospect who could develop over the next couple of years into a solid Championship striker. He would be the kind of young, improving player the club has attempted to build around in recent years.

Rumour Rating: 2 – Believable

Update – 12th May: EFL Transfer News is reporting that the Sky Blues and Birmingham City ‘are leading the race to sign Callum Lang’, but that Hull City and Derby County are ‘keeping tabs’ on him. All of which seems a rehash of Football Insider’s original article back in April.

Amadou Bakayoko | To ‘An Unnamed Club’ | Position: ST | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: EFL Hub | 10th May

The transfer detectives at the EFL Hub have exclusively revealed that Amadou Bakayoko will be leaving Coventry City this summer. Just how they could have unearthed such a shocking piece of transfer news, us mere mortals can only guess. It gets better, they have also revealed that Bakayoko will be moving to ‘an unnamed club’ this summer. Unnamed, presumably, because it would blow our puny brains to know at this stage just which club Amadou Bakayoko is joining.

Rumour Rating: 2 – Believable

You don’t get 13,500 followers for nothing.

Update – 12th May: EFL Insider is reporting that Doncaster Rovers and Bristol Rovers are interested in Amadou Bakayoko, with Doncaster favourites for ‘the English striker’. Leaving aside the fact that Bakayoko, born in Sierra Leone and raised in the Netherlands, isn’t English, this looks like a rehash of rumours in January that linked Bakayoko to Doncaster Rovers, as well as back in 2018 when Bristol Rovers rivalled Coventry City for Bakayoko’s signature from Walsall.

Update – 12th May: Amadou Bakayoko was officially announced as released by the club.

Maxime Biamou | To… Pastures New | Position: ST | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: Coventry City FC Bible | 11th May

A rumour that has gained a lot of traction over the past day, seemingly started by someone who works in a phone shop posting on Facebook that Maxime Biamou had said goodbye to them. It may just be a case of Chinese whispers, where someone has misinterpreted something and it has then echoed through social media to become perceived as a 100% certainty, it is at least aided by being believable.

While I wouldn’t have released Maxime Biamou myself as he clearly wants to stay at the club and has shown he can do a job at Championship level (albeit, not as a regular starter), making him a useful back-up for Tyler Walker and Matt Godden next year, it would be hard to argue against the decision if Mark Robins believes it’s for the best. The manager has continually moved on fan favourites slightly before their shelf lives have expired and it has resulted in the club progressing from League Two to the Championship. It would be sad, but the decision, if true, would presumably have been made as the manager believes there are better options available.

Rumour Rating: 4 – Likely

Update – 12th May: Maxime Biamou was officially announced as released by the club.

Charlie Colkett | From Östersunds | Position: CM | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: Östersunds FK | 22nd April

The Adi Viveash-Coventry City-Chelsea connection continues with it confirmed by Östersunds themselves that former Chelsea youth player, Charlie Colkett, is training with Coventry City. As such, it cannot be doubted that Colkett is at the club, however, the more pertinent question is whether we are genuinely interested in signing him or if this is just a favour that Viveash is handing to someone he has worked with in the past.

The honest answer is that it’s impossible to tell without inside knowledge of the club. At 24 years old, Colkett would be coming in as a first-team player in an area of the pitch where we already have a lot of competition. His career thus far has seen him take in a few mixed loan spells in League One before a spell in Sweden which has reportedly gone pretty well. Nonetheless, Colkett would probably have to prove in training that he adds something to our current midfield options. It seems more likely than not that this trial is launchpad for Colkett to find a move elsewhere in England where he has a better chance of regular football, but it wouldn’t be outside the realms of possibility if we did sign him.

Rumour Rating: 3 – Possible

Update – 5th May: The Mirror are now reporting that the club are “keen to hand [Colkett] a permanent deal this summer”. Despite my reservations about over whether he would improve our midfield, it looks like Charlie Colkett has done enough to earn a permanent deal.

Update – 7th May: Mark Robins has confirmed to the Coventry Telegraph that the club “won’t be pursuing anything with [Colkett]”, and described the player’s spell training with the Sky Blues “as a favour” to the player, confirming my initial feelings about this rumour.

Olly Allen | From Dorking Wanderers | Position: Midfielder | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: Surrey Live | 6th May

The source of this rumour is actually the player himself, who said in an interview “there were two clubs, Nottingham Forest and Coventry, watching the game that I was playing in”. The player has gone on to state that Nottingham Forest have made a formal offer, but that he is content to stay at Dorking Wanderers if that move doesn’t come off.

If Allen does sign, he would likely be playing for either the under-18 or 23 side, having yet to make a senior appearance for his current side, Dorking Wanderers, of the National League South. It appears though as if Coventry City aren’t currently at the head of the queue for his services.

Rumour Rating: 2 – Believable

Kyle McFadzean | To Barnsley | Position: CB | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: EFL Hub | 5th May

EFL Hub has 13,500 followers. It has just come out with a rumour linking Barnsley with Kyle McFadzean. That’s right, Barnsley, the club that rarely ever signs players over the age of 30 and could be in the Premier League next season are going to sign Kyle McFadzean. 13,500 followers EFL Hub has. Just random clubs being linked with random players.

It’s clear rubbish. If you are part of the 13,500, maybe give EFL Hub an unfollow.

Rumour Rating: 0 – Pure Fantasy

Jack Powell | From Crawley Town | Position: CM | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: EFL Hub | 4th May

EFL Hub has 13,500 followers. It has just come out with a rumour linking the Sky Blues with a 27 year-old League Two midfielder who has had an okay season. 13,500 followers and they don’t even seem to put in the effort to create believable, or fun, rumours. Just random clubs being linked with random players.

It’s clear rubbish. If you are part of the 13,500, maybe give EFL Hub an unfollow.

Rumour Rating: 0 – Pure Fantasy

Lee Tomlin | From Cardiff City | Position: AM | Transfer Type: Permanent | Source: Prem + EFL Transfer Rumours | 27th April

Alongside Birmingham City and Fleetwood Town, the Sky Blues are apparently after Cardiff City attacking midfielder, Lee Tomlin. This already seems a rumour that is hard to believe given the club has tended to sign young or overseas players since Chris Badlan was appointed as Head of Recruitment in 2018, while Tomlin has struggled for fitness and has a reputation for being difficult to manage.

At his best, Tomlin has shown himself to be the kind of creative, unpredictable player who is worth trying to find a way to fit in. However, at 32 years old and having made five appearances over the past season, I doubt that Mark Robins would feel that Tomlin is worth the associated baggage he comes with. Coming from an account with just 27 followers, this rumour can confidently be put down as pure fantasy.

Rumour Rating: 0 – Pure Fantasy

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