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24th Aug 2018

Bristol City are in Liverpool’s bad books following loan move

There's bad blood between the clubs

Darragh Murphy

Football clubs without the spending clout of Premier League sides often have to rely on the loan market to enhance their squads.

Bristol City are one such team and manager Lee Johnson has insisted that the Robins have a good reputation among loaning clubs for the manner in which they deal with players.

But while discussing his side’s recent acquisition of Chelsea’s Tomas Kalas on a season-long loan from the Blues, Johnson admitted that Liverpool are not the biggest fans of Bristol City right now.

Speaking to the Bristol Post, Johnson said: “I think this club has a good reputation with the top clubs – apart from probably with Liverpool at the moment, we’re not in their good books – but as a general rule we’ve always looked after everybody’s players and they’ve gone on to do well.

“Yeah so, I’ve had discussions with Manchester City over a number of players this summer and the catch 22 is always the asset. Particularly the forward players. Tammy was great for us but we’re all still talking about him. He went 13-14 months ago and he signed a new contract as I’ve said.

“And this is the bit that’s frustrating for me with the fans. Really I need to say ‘come out of dreamland: he’s signed for this amount per week and he’s now played for England. We ain’t getting him.

“We’re getting him when he hasn’t kicked a ball in the division. At that point we take the risk and we get the reward like we did. But you’re right as what it does do is stand us in good stead moving onto the next one. There were a number of clubs in for Tomas and I was actually quite shocked that we actually got to the top of that pile. Credit to Tomas as he showed a keen desire to come, the agents, Chelsea and also Mark Ashton who did the deal and got it through our board and Chelsea’s.”

Johnson’s comments are believed to be in reference to Ryan Kent’s loan move to Ashton Gate in January, which saw the Reds winger make just 10 Championship appearances, much to Jurgen Klopp’s frustration.

Liverpool sent Kent to Bristol City in the hope of seeing the 21-year-old earn more playing time and reportedly fined the Robins for failing to play Kent regularly enough during his loan spell.

The Reds have since become more selective when it comes to loan destinations and Klopp has apparently agreed a unique deal with Rangers because he trusts Anfield legend Steven Gerrard to give game time to players who arrive from Liverpool.

Kent has since moved to Ibrox on a season-long loan.