Bristol City boss Keith Millen hoping to sign defender on loan
BRISTOL City boss Keith Millen is chasing a number of loan options in an attempt to bolster his defence ahead of the new npower Championship campaign.
Millen has been targeting a dominant centre-half and a left-back since the end of last season.
His strenuous efforts have so far met with frustration – five top targets having opted to move to bigger clubs instead.
But Millen has since switched his focus to the loan market and says he is now closing on his targets.
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"We have three potential deals going on at the moment," said the Londoner, who has made the recruitment of a tall central defender a priority. "The situation at the moment is that we are waiting on phone calls from other clubs. It just takes one of those callers to say 'yes' and we will be in business.
"Everyone knows where we need to strengthen and I've been working hard to get players in all summer.
"We've missed out on five or so and that has been frustrating. But they have all been very good players and, in most cases, have gone to Premier League clubs. Every time one goes down, you move on to the next on the list."
Millen is prepared to be patient if it means landing the right player and the return to fitness of central defenders Liam Fontaine and James Wilson has bought him additional time.
He said: "I'm prepared to wait for the right players rather than bringing people in for the sake of it.
"I'm only interested in signing players who are going to improve us.
"In an ideal world, of course I would like to get one or two more in before the season starts, but there is no rush and I'm not panicking.
"We have a few defenders coming back from injury and getting themselves fitter and, providing we don't pick up any more knocks, I have enough options within the squad."
Wilson impressed when playing a full 90 minutes against Forest Green Rovers in midweek and is now in a position to compete with Damion Stewart for a place in the starting line-up to face Ipswich Town in the opening Championship fixture at Ashton Gate on Saturday week.
Fontaine still needs more minutes on the pitch to regain match sharpness before he can challenge Lewin Nyatanga for the other centre-back berth and he is expected to feature in Saturday's home friendly against West Bromwich Albion and Tuesday's run-out at Weston-super-Mare.
Millen said of Fontaine and Wilson: "It was good that they got another game under their belts on Tuesday and, in terms of their fitness, they are about where they need to be.
"Both are on course to be in contention for a place in the squad against Ipswich."