Phil Parkinson is chewing over a deadline-day move to boost City’s midfield after letting two fringe players go.
After a busy January window, City still remain in the market for a left back – and have dismissed links with Bournemouth’s former Leeds veteran Ian Harte.
Parkinson feels they are well covered up front despite losing Connell. But he is considering the need to bolster numbers in the middle of the park.
City are waiting on answers from two clubs, although it is questionable whether anything will happen before the 11pm deadline. If not, they can use the emergency loan market that reopens in a week’s time.
Parkinson said: “With Jason Kennedy going, we brought Chris Atkinson in and we’ll make a decision on whether we replace Ricky.
“But it was important to free up some money, particularly with Alan, who is a player who has become surplus.
“We’ve got options with strikers as Kyle Bennett and Thommo (Garry Thompson) can play there.
“We might possibly get another midfield body in but we’ve always said that Matthew Bates has played there in his career.
“He’s strong in that position when I’ve seen him for Middlesbrough. So he could play in the role if we needed.”
For now, Bates is required at left back until they can find some regular cover for the injured James Meredith – something Parkinson does not anticipate happening today.
He added: “The loan market is only a week later. The likelihood is it’s only loans we’re going to be able to get anyway. We are in talks with two clubs asking about their players and waiting for responses.
“It depends on whether they can get somebody in themselves.
“Whether that happens before the weekend or after, we’ll have to see.”
City are preparing to open more contract talks about next season. With so many deals up at the end of the season, they are keen to avoid a late rush.
City have not fielded any inquiries from other clubs but Parkinson said: “We are looking at it. There are one or two players that we will be sitting down with shortly.”