City fans might have to be patient to see the first signing of the summer.

Midfielder Billy Knott is being strongly linked with a move to Valley Parade after being released by Sunderland.

The Bantams are working through a lengthy list of potential targets but are not expecting any arrivals straight away.

Director of operations David Baldwin said: “These things take time at this stage, especially with people going away on holidays. Good players also have a lot of options to consider.

“We are working on a number of incoming deals that we believe are the right ones for the club going forward.

“As Julian (Rhodes) alluded to, there is a key emphasis in our recruitment on attack-minded players. But it’s most important that we don’t overstretch ourselves as well.”

Knott would fit the criteria that City are looking for. Described as a very positive and mobile central midfielder, the 21-year-old played 41 games last season on loan for Wycombe and Port Vale.

Knott, who likes to shoot from distance, scored twice for Vale and won their goal of the season award for a spectacular effort from outside the area against Crawley.

Vale are keen to make the move permanent and have offered the former England youth international a deal. But the current uncertainty over the future of manager Micky Adams has left the club in a state of flux.

When asked about his future at the end of the season, Knott insisted he would not be rushed into any decision.

He said: “You can go to the highest club and be sitting on the bench. But I am not one of those players to do that.

“I want to play every week but you have to earn the right to play. I feel myself that I can play in the Championship but if you are not going to play every week, then you have to consider that.”

Born in Essex, Knott joined Sunderland in 2011 after being released from the Chelsea academy. But he made only one Black Cats appearance as a substitute against Tottenham under Paolo Di Canio.

He has spent previous loan spells with Woking in the Conference and AFC Wimbledon, where he had an influential game against City in March 2012.

Knott won a contentious penalty and scored with a header in a 3-1 Dons win best remembered for Craig Fagan’s red card.