U's star Szmodics could be on his way to Robins
PUBLISHED: 06:00 19 May 2019
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Colchester United favourite, Sammie Szmodics, could well be on his way to Bristol City.
Szmodics has been the subject of much transfer speculation over the last couple of seasons, but the 23-year-old attacking midfielder looks likely to be on his way this summer.
His current contract expires next month, and the odds are therefore on Szmodics leaving his boyhood club, with Bristol City leading the chase.
In the past, Szmodics has been linked with big-money moves to the likes of Premier League side Bournemouth (a reported £1m fee in January, 2018), and more recently Championship outfits Hull City, Reading and play-off finalists Derby County.
But Bristol City, with manager Lee Johnson at the helm, could well be the club to finally land the highly-rated Szmodics, who was the U's leading scorer with 15 goals during the most recent season, including an eye-catching two-goal cameo in the final day 3-0 win at champions Lincoln City.
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The Robins, who finished eighth in the Championship during the 2018-19 campaign (just four points adrift of the play-off zone), have money to spend in the transfer market after selling Lloyd Kelly to Bournemouth for a fee believed to be in the region of £13m over the weekend.
Livewire Szmodics, who has usually operated in a central role behind a lone striker (either Luke Norris, Frank Nouble or Mikael Mandron during the last season) also provided nine assists during his 48 first-team appearances.
Obviously the U's would love to hold onto their prize asset - Szmodics has been at the club since the age of seven and, despite a couple of serious, long-term injuries, has rattled up 162 appearances in all competitions (142 in the league).
Not surprisingly, the Colchester-born stalwart is also a big fans' favourite, and so would be sorely missed - he made his debut six years ago.
The U's narrowly missed out on the play-offs, finishing just one point and one place adrift of seventh-placed Newport County, who have progressed through to the play-off final, where they will face Tranmere Rovers.
Last week, the U's announced the departure of a dozen of their under-23 and Academy graduates, including Aaron Barnes, Noah Chesmain, Paul Rooney and Decarrey Sheriff.