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

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.

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.

Rumour Rating: 1 – Extremely Unlikely

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.

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.

Rumour Rating: 3 – Possible

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.

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.

Rumour Rating: 5 – Almost Certain

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.

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.

Rumour Rating: 1 – Extremely Unlikely

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.

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

Rumour Rating: 2 – Believable

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.

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.

Rumour Rating: n/a – Has Definitely Not Happened

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.

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.

Rumour Rating: 2 – Believable

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.

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.

Rumour Rating: 2 – Believable

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.

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.

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

Rumour Rating: 1 – Highly Unlikely

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

Rumour Rating: 1 – Extremely Unlikely

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.

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.

Rumour Rating: 3 – Possible

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.

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?

Rumour Rating: 3 – Possible

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.

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.

Rumour Rating: 3 – Possible

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.

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.

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.

Rumour Rating: 2 – Believable

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.

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

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.

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?

Rumour Rating: 3- Possible

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.

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.

Rumour Rating: 2 – Believable

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.

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.

Rumour Rating: 2 – Believable

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.

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

Rumour Rating: 4 – Likely

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.

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.

Rumour Rating: 3 – Possible

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

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

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

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