Yawn. Could one of the Championship’s most drawn-out transfer sagas finally be ending?
Swansea City have this morning joined West Brom and Wolves in an attempt to put a stop to the league’s transfer-market equivalent to watching paint-dry; the on-off departure of Nicky Maynard from Bristol City.
Maynard, who has reportedly flirted with the likes of Leicester City and Everton since deciding to snub a long term deal with the Robins, may actually be packing his suitcase, leaving through the exit door at Ashton Gate and hailing a taxi to Wales to join Brendan Rodger’s Premier League odyssey as the Swans put the approach play to one side as they come straight in with a cash-plus-player, believed to be Stephen Dobbie, offer which could finally tempt the Bristol City board to let go of their star-striker, which they have held on to better than an obsessive hoarder.
Despite his open admission that he would like to play in the Premier League, City’s willingness to tie down Maynard was relentless as they even tried to keep the striker chained to the door of the Ashton Gate dressing room. This was fought off almost as quickly as the offer of a new contract which was declined just before Christmas.
Brought from Crewe Alexandra for £2.25 million back in 2008, they risked losing him for free, yes nothing, nada, zero, zilch, in the summer as his contract is due to expire. Yet, this didn’t stop the Bristol City board turning down a £6 million offer from money-bags Leicester in the summer.
In the threat of embarrassingly bad business and resigned to the fate of watching the striker disappear down a foggy Bristol road, they duly granted Maynard his wish and put him on the transfer list, duly alerting the Premier League panic buyers as they desperately seek a goal-scorer to stave off the threat of relegation. Swansea, who look to lighten the workload on Danny Graham who has only managed to hit a net-shy 6 from 19 Premier League games.
The main question is, can Nicky Maynard cut it in the Premier League? A record of 45 goals from 125 appearances for City suggests he may need to sharpen up a bit, although his 21 from 45 a season was pretty impressive before he acquired the troublesome problem of a dodgy knee. Bristol were attracted in the first-place by his lightning strike-rate of 35 in 57 starts for Crewe.
He has hit 8 in 26 so far this season as Derek McIness’ side labour in the bottom reaches of the league, but there is only one way to find out if he can embark on such a tremendous journey to the promised land of the top-flight. That is for Swansea and Bristol City to work together to finally stop this will he or won’t he saga that has had more twists than an Eastenders storyline, and finally end the Maynard boredom.
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