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O'Dowda urged to stay at Bristol City after Fulham move collapses

The Ireland international should commit to a new contract, says Bristol City manager Lee Johnson.

Callum O'Dowda Ireland's Callum O'Dowda attracted interest from Fulham. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

BRISTOL CITY MANAGER Lee Johnson has confirmed that Callum O’Dowda was a summer transfer target for fellow Championship club Fulham.

However, a move for the Ireland international to Craven Cottage fell through after the London outfit completed loan deals for Brighton’s Anthony Knockaert and Ivan Cavaleiro of Wolves instead.

O’Dowda was subsequently a somewhat surprise inclusion in the Bristol City starting line-up for Sunday’s season opener, which saw Leeds United — who the 24-year-old winger has also been linked with recently — record a 3-1 victory at Ashton Gate.

With his current deal due to expire at the end of the season, Johnson has urged O’Dowda to express his commitment to the club by extending his contract before the transfer deadline closes on Thursday.

He told The Bristol Post: “There’s no secret in the fact Fulham were spinning the plate, if you like, and I think Callum believed it and I think it took the focus away from Bristol City for him.

“Now we’ve got to the point where it hasn’t happened because of the signings that they’ve made and that’s where players have got to be a little bit smarter and listen to the people that are in the know and care about them and are not always representatives.

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Bristol City v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship - Ashton Gate O'Dowda pictured in the warm-up before Bristol City's defeat to Leeds United on Sunday. Source: Mark Kerton

“That move didn’t come off for him. There are clubs probably still interested but at the same time we would like him to re-sign.

“But I’d rather him re-sign today than on the ninth [of August], because I think that shows the commitment to the cause rather than, ‘alright, I’ll have a look at what’s out there and at the death I’ll make a decision to sign’.”

O’Dowda has made 90 Championship appearances for Bristol City since joining the club from Oxford United in 2016.

He has made 15 senior appearances for Ireland but has yet to add to his tally of caps under current manager Mick McCarthy.

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Paul Dollery

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