Bradford City boss Stuart McCall forced to play waiting game in player search

Stuart McCall says that 'all sorts of different criteria are creeping in' when trying to sign players on loan.
Stuart McCall says that 'all sorts of different criteria are creeping in' when trying to sign players on loan.
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MANAGER Stuart McCall wants at least another three new signings at Bradford City, but admits “there is nothing imminent at the moment”.

The Bantams have brought in seven new faces since the former Scotland international replaced Phil Parkinson last month.

McCall, however, knows further strengthening is needed of a squad that lost three key figures – Player of the Year Reece Burke, Josh Cullen and Lee Evans – at the end of 2015-16 when their respective loan deals ended.

“When we came in, we thought we needed nine or 10 new players,” said McCall. “We’ve got seven, including two goalkeepers, so that means we need at least three.

“The quality here is good and we have to make sure whoever comes in adds or betters that. We won’t bring bodies in just for the sake of it.

“We are short at the moment, there is no doubt about that. Unfortunately, there is nothing imminent at the moment. But deals can happen very quickly. We saw that last week with Romain (Vincelot, a recent £50,000 arrival from Coventry City).

“We were in Scotland (at a pre-season training camp) until Friday and nothing seemed to be happening, but then he was in the following morning doing his medical.”

City used the loan market impressively to reach the play-offs last season. West Ham defender Burke and Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Evans spent the season at Valley Parade, while Cullen arrived from Upton Park in February.

Preston North End winger Kyel Reid was another successful loanee and Bradford are exploring similar deals this time around.

What has changed, however, is the terms on which some clubs are willing to lend players out – as McCall reveals.

“The loan market is changing and all sorts of different criteria are creeping in,” said the 52-year-old. “Some clubs want loan fees, while some want a percentage of a certain fee if the loan players don’t play. Almost like a penalty.

“I know Sir Alex (Ferguson) at Manchester United over the years used to say that if a player of his on loan played, then a club didn’t pay his wages. But if that player didn’t play, a club would then have to pay his full wage. That suited some.

“Now, though, a few clubs are saying, ‘If he doesn’t play 60 per cent or 80 per cent of games then you have to pay us x-amount of thousands. We have come across that a couple of times this summer.

“And as a manager, you don’t want to feel restricted in that I will have to play this player or that player.”