Bristol City chief reveals Diony deal will be record

Bristol City

Bristol City have agreed a club-record fee with Saint-Etienne for the signing of Lois Diony if they want to make it permanent in the summer.

Robins CEO Mark Ashton told the club’s official website that, although the player had been on their radar for two years, the deal took a while to conclude because of the option to buy.

“That was slightly more complicated because that was clearly documented as a loan with an option. And the option is always something that’s slightly more difficult to negotiate,” said Ashton.

“Lois has been on our radar for the last 24 months if not a little bit longer. He’s a quality player and has moved for a big transfer fee historically.

“We became aware that there was an opportunity to loan him and we progressed through negotiations and they were protracted but we got there in the end and we got our man. There were several other clubs who wanted him so I was delighted that we got his pen on paper.”

Diony joined Saint-Etienne in the summer from Dijon for a reported £9m, having scored 11 goals to help them stay up last season, so it was always going to take a big commitment to bring him to Ashton Gate.

“A player who’s moved recently for that level of transfer fee would inevitably demand a high fee if he was to move shortly after that,” added Ashton.

“That’s why we make it an option, and not an obligation, that’s loaded on our side should we wish to trigger it. And it’s almost like ‘try before you buy’ because we can do as much homework as we possibly can but until you get the player in the door you don’t actually really get to know them from a character perspective and a fit perspective.”