COVENTRY defender Jordan Willis has been priced out of City’s prolonged hunt for a centre half.

Although Stuart McCall would prefer a more physical type to fill the right-sided gap in the back four, Willis has been a name under consideration at Valley Parade.

But the T&A understands that the Sky Blues want far more for their 22-year-old asset than City would be willing to pay.

Willis, who also plays at right back, was the subject of a strong bid from Rotherham during the last transfer window.

They met the valuation for what would have been a club record fee but Coventry changed their mind about selling at the last minute and pulled out the deal.

Rotherham are still in the market for a centre half and Willis, who has not played yet this season because of a foot injury, remains an option – but they are not “chasing him down” according to boss Paul Warne.

But City’s interest has cooled over Coventry’s firm stance as they continue to scour the market.

With clubs reluctant to let players go now the season is underway, loan or free agency could be the most likely routes now for a problem that has dominated most of their summer.

There is on-going interest in a youngster from a higher division and former Port Vale defender Remie Streete has also been mentioned, although he continues to be strongly linked with Shrewsbury.

McCall admits the long-running saga has become exasperating but City will keep chipping away.

“There are a couple of things we’ve thought we are near to,” he said. “But we’re just waiting for other clubs higher up.

“We’re probably looking at loans. The free agents are thinning down now so it’s either a loan or having to buy someone.

“But that’s never easy now the season has kicked in. People don’t want to let players go.

“There’s nothing more I can say publicly but there is a lot being done behind the scenes.

“We filled the other positions early but we still need this centre half. We’ve just got to make sure we’re right on the training ground and on game time and we get somebody in.”

Romain Vincelot’s three-game ban for his Carabao Cup red card has cranked up the urgency to bring someone in.

McCall will persist with two left-footed defenders in the middle at Gillingham today. Nathaniel Knight-Percival is expected to play on the right of Matt Kilgallon.

Australian Lachlan Barr has been suffering with a dead leg but is likely to be included in the squad as back-up.

“You see two right-footers at centre half but not really two lefties,” said Kilgallon.

“But Nat’s actually quite good with his right foot and I think he’s picked it up really well with his positioning. I would have struggled more.

“I’ve looked over to him and he’s in the right place every time. Fair play to him.”

Kilgallon has come back fighting after a lengthy absence kept him out for three months with a serious pectoral injury.

He added: “I couldn’t get in last season because the lads were doing well. The gaffer couldn’t change it.

“I got the injury as well when I did a get a start, which was a bit of a disaster.

“But I worked hard when I was off, came in fit and really wanted to impress him.

“I hope I’ve done that because he’s put me in the team. Now it’s up to me to keep my place and make it difficult for him to take me out.”