Bristol City and Norwich linked with surprise move for versatile French midfielder

Bristol City have been linked with a surprise summer transfer for versatile midfielder Jean-Luc Dompe.

The 26-year-old currently plays football with Belgian side Zulte Waregem and has bagged 12 assists and three goals in 32 league appearances this season.

According to publication Voetbalkrant, Dompe could be available this summer as he approaches the final year of his contract. His club have offered him a new contract but the winger is slow to sign an extension as he is eager to assess his options this summer.

The report adds that Premier League side Norwich are also interested as they prepare to live in the Championship. The two clubs would have had discussions with the player’s entourage, he adds.

Dompe was born in France and started his career at Valenciennes before moving to Saint-Trond and then Standard de Liège in 2016.

After two years with KAA Gent, Dompe moved to Zulte Waregem in 2020 where he played 59 Belgian top-flight games, assisting 18 and scoring nine.

According to Whoscored, Dompe has held four different positions this season, including as an attacking midfielder, on the wing, as a forward and as a defensive midfielder.

If the report has any weight, then perhaps Pearson is hoping his connections over his two years in charge of Belgian club OH Leuven could help sway the player’s final decision when deciding his future.

With one year remaining on his contract, City will have to pay a transfer fee to lure Dompe away from Zulte Waregem. However, Pearson has publicly stated that he will have no money to spend this summer due to the club’s difficult financial situation.

He changed his tune the following week by revealing “there might be some money available”, but he made no secret that players will have to leave to bring in valuable signings.

On Thursday, Pearson spoke about the plans for the summer window, admitting he had some main goals in mind but didn’t know if they were achievable or not. He also refused to go into details about his shortlist as it lacks respect for other clubs.

What is certain is that the boss is likely to prioritize signing new centre-backs this summer to fix a leaky defense that conceded 74 goals during the season.

With doubts over Nathan Baker’s long-term fitness and the future of Robbie Cundy and Timm Klose uncertain with their contracts expiring this summer, Pearson will no doubt have to bolster the numbers at the back while previously suggesting that he will move for a defensive midfielder.

Last month, City were linked with a transfer of Brazilian goalkeeper Victor Braga from Arouca, his contract expiring at the end of the season.

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