Bristol City boss responds to midfielder to Burnley transfer talk
Bristol City manager Lee Johnson says he does not expect to see reported Burnley transfer target Josh Brownhill leave the Championship club anytime soon.
Burnley were linked with a move for two of Johnson’s Bristol City stars this week, with central midfielder Brownhill and winger Niclas Eliasson said to be on the Clarets’ radar.
But, speaking after his side’s FA Cup third-round replay defeat to Shrewsbury on Tuesday, the Ashton Gate boss made his stance on Brownhill and his other key players pretty clear as the Robins put all their focus on chasing a play-off place.
After missing two games because of injury, Brownhill returned to Johnson’s starting line-up at Montgomery Waters Meadow – the home of League One Shrewsbury.
Although he lasted the 90 minutes, the Warrington-born 24-year-old could not prevent a 1-0 defeat that denies his side the chance to pit themselves against Premier League leaders Liverpool in round four.
Despite the cup upset, Johnson was pleased with his captain’s performance and dismissed the speculation linking the midfielder to Turf Moor.
“I thought he was excellent today in his performance and I thought Adam [Nagy] in midfield as well was good,” Johnson told Bristol Live.
ICYMI last night. I asked Lee Johnson on whether Josh Brownhill might be leaving this window: "At this stage you can never say never in football but I don't envisage any big sales [in January]." #BristolCity
— Gregor MacGregor (@GeeMacGee) January 15, 2020
“And there were some good individual performances. There’s always going to be speculation about our players because we’ve got a young side and any Premier League side will be looking at Championship players that are under 23 or 24. You can never say never in football but I don’t envisage any big sales.”
Eliasson has been one of the most creative players in the Championship this season with two goals and ten assists in 13 appearances to date, and the Swede is set to fall out of contract in the summer, although Bristol City hold an option to extend his deal by a further year.
Burnley have been long-term admirers of ex-Preston North End star Brownhill, who still has family in the north west.
The Clarets are looking to sign a central midfielder in the current transfer window and if they cannot get Brownhill they may try for a loan to replace the departed Danny Drinkwater.
Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher has also been linked, but he seems most likely to go out on loan to another Championship club after the Blues recalled him from his spell at Charlton Athletic.
Swansea City are understood to be the favourites to take him and that would see him link up with two other members of England’s victorious Under-17 World Cup-winning team of 2018 – and the coach Steve Cooper.
But the Swans already have five loan players on their books and EFL rules prevent them from naming any more than that number in any matchday squad.