Bristol City are closing in on signing Oxford United defender Rob Atkinson, according to Gregor MacGregor of Bristol Live. The centre-back has held talks with the Championship club over recent weeks and an agreement is now thought to be close.
Nathan Baker has already returned to the club as one of two centre-back targets the club were hoping to sign. The addition of Atkinson too would certainly strengthen the options that Nigel Pearson has at his disposal next season.
Bristol City Nearing Rob Atkinson Agreement
Previous Bid Rejected
Bristol City tabled a bid of around £1.4 million for Atkinson earlier this window, although this was rejected by the League One side. Journalist Alan Nixon recently reported that the Robins were getting closer to Oxford’s £1.6 million valuation of the defender.
Atkinson has had a breakthrough season with the U’s after arriving from National League side Eastleigh. The 22-year-old played 41 times last season, scoring twice and helping Karl Robinson’s side to a sixth-place finish.
MacGregor adds that a deal could even be finalised by this weekend, which would see another top-drawer youngster depart Oxford for the second tier – following the example of Rob Dickie, who joined Queens Park Rangers last year.
The Robins are already well-stocked in this area of the pitch, having Baker, Tomas Kalas (a current Euro 2020 quarter-finalist with the Czech Republic), Zak Vyner, Taylor Moore and Robbie Cundy in that position.
However, Atkinson’s qualities could easily see him take a starting berth in the squad more often than not.