Highly-rated young Liverpool and Wales forward Ben Woodburn has been rumoured to be on Coventry City’s wanted list to take on loan this summer.
The 19-year-old could well face the Sky Blues in next week’s friendly between Mark Robins’s first team and the Reds’ Under-23s at Rugby Town’s Butlin Road (Weds, July 24, Kick-off 7pm).
But CoventryLive understands that City are currently not actively trying to get the talented teenager, although he will be known to the recruitment department.
Woodburn, who had a loan spell with Sheffield United in the Championship last season, has been linked with interest from Hull City this week.
Coventry’s focus remains on securing the services of Wolves man Bright Enobakhare, while Nottingham Forest’s Tyler Walker is also among those players whom the club are understood to have made inquiries about to see if they are available for loan.
Bright linked with St Andrew’s move
Birmingham City are understood to have joined the race to sign Coventry City’s number one summer target Bright Enobakhare.
The Sky Blues have been in for the Wolverhampton Wanderers play-maker ever since his eye-catching loan spell at the Ricoh Arena last season, and had hoped to get him on a permanent deal.
Coventry made a £600,000 bid for the 21-year-old early in the transfer window, which was understood to still be on the table, but Blues’ interest could scupper the club’s chances of getting their man.
Joining Birmingham, whom the Sky Blues are groundsharing with this season, would be a huge blow to Coventry’s recruitment plan which has been waiting for the last few pieces of the jigsaw to fall into place to add the creativity needed to help the team make a sustained push for promotion.
Enobakhare made a superb impact on Mark Robins’s team during the second half of last season, helping the Sky Blues to the brink of the League One play-offs.
He scored six goals in 18 league appearances and displayed sensational form on occasions, none more so in the stunning 5-4 victory at Sunderland to make him a firm fans’ favourite.
Enobakhare has stated publicly that he loves the club, saying that it feels like home. That affection is reciprocated by the supporters who have been encouraged by social media posts by the player who has teased them with messages about seeing them all again next season.
So far this summer Robins has signed nine senior players and Enobakhare has been viewed by many as being the icing on the cake of his new-look side.
No panic buys
Mark Robins won’t be forced into panic buying as he looks to put the finishing touches to his Coventry City squad.
The Sky Blues boss believes his exhaustive scouting process will serve the club well this year – confident that the nine players he has signed so far have already taken the team ‘up a notch’.
There remain question marks over whether City will land their number one summer target Bright Enobakhare to add more creativity to the side after reports that Birmingham City are keen on the 21-year-old.
Striker Conor Chaplin also faces an uncertain future with a switch to Championship Barnsley looking increasingly more likely – a move that would require Robins to find a like-for-like replacement.
The club are understood to be interested in young Nottingham Forest striker Tyler Walker, who scored 26 goals for Mansfield Town in League Two last season, and could be loaned out again this term.
Making a permanent bid for the 22-year-old could also be an option if City decide to cash in on Chaplin, who has already been the subject of a £700,000 rejected bid.
But regardless of whether things fall into place, Robins insists: “We do a diligent job. We don’t just go out and sign people and hope that they are going to come off.
“That’s what our head of recruitment Chris Badlan has done. He has to go out and the amount of time he spends scouting these players is exactly what we want.
“That’s why we set up the recruitment department because it’s exactly what I wanted. They bring me players and I have a look at them and give them the thumbs up or not depending on who they bring in.
“We have to go through the process with every player. We can’t just take someone if they have not gone through the process.”
He added: “We can’t see everyone because there’s only two in the department. We have got some scouts who work alongside them and go out to games and scout, but ultimately we have a method of working that identifies players who are going to fit with us.
“So it isn’t an ad-hoc thing and therefore I am not hopeful with anything because I know they are going to be good players – all of them.”
As for his thoughts on the players he has got in the building this summer, Robins said: “I’m excited by all of them.
“We have done some good business.
“At the end of the day we have targeted certain individuals and managed to get them in and get them in early, and that’s been really good for us because it means we can work with them.
“There are still one or two things we’d like to do and if I can do them in this window then I will.
“But it’s not a bottomless pit of money. We will not have increased the budget, which is another good thing because at the end of the day we will be within what we were last year.”
There’s a clause
Coventry City will benefit financially if the club’s former striker Jonson Clarke-Harris is sold this summer.
The 24-year-old former City Academy graduate switched to League One rivals Bristol Rovers on transfer deadline day in January and promptly helped pull the club away from the threat of relegation.
The powerful centre-forward’s 11 goals in 11 games made him one of the in-form front men in the division, alerting a host of clubs in the third tier and Championship.
Clarke-Harris won the League One Player of the Month for April as reward for his brilliant form and he was also nominated for goal of the season for a stunning strike against Gillingham.
Bristol Rovers are reluctant to lose their star striker but they could be forced to cash-in on Clarke-Harris for the right offer due to tight finances at the club, says HITC Sport.
Clarke-Harris is understood to have a buy-out in his contract and Bristol Rovers are bracing themselves for offers for the former Oldham and Rotherham forward.
And if the player is sold the Sky Blues will receive a cash boost from a sell-on clause, understood to be the standard 10 per cent, they insisted upon when the club allowed him to move to the Memorial Ground on a free transfer just six months ago.
City were happy to lighten the wage bill at a time when Mark Robins opted to change his attack with the arrival of Bright Enobakhare on loan from Wolves and giving centre-forward Amadou Bakayoko a more prominent role in the team.
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