Phil Parkinson admits he is fighting high-quality opposition to land his transfer targets.

With the summer market slow to pick up, the City chief is still waiting to make his first capture since clinching promotion.

City’s acclaimed success last term has made them a far more attractive proposition for players looking for a move. But by going up, the club also face stiffer competition as they try to sign recruits from further up the league ladder.

Parkinson said: “Last year was tough (to make signings) because of the division we were in. Players obviously want to play at the highest possible level they can.

“Now we are up a notch and people see what we achieved last year and the support we generated.

“But equally the players I’m trying to get are ones that are attracting other clubs of a similar stature. We are having to compete with others from the lower Championship and top end League One and that can make it difficult.

“We are still making progress. I’m speaking to the chairmen and Dave Baldwin three or four times a day.

“Pre-season is just over a week away and hopefully we will be getting there by then. We might possibly have one or two in. Ideally you want as many of the squad in for the first day of pre-season. But the aim is to have the best possible squad for the first game and we’re working hard to do that.

“The market at the moment is very quiet but we’re talking to several people and waiting for answers.”

Parkinson utilised a small squad last season and City are likely to stick with a group of around 20 players again. Joint-chairman Julian Rhodes is also keen to cut down on short-term emergency loans.

Rhodes said: “If we do have injuries, then I don’t think we’ll be doing the loan signings – unless we get them for the whole season, in which case they are genuinely part of the squad.

“Phil’s got a good team spirit and he wants to maintain as many of that squad as possible. Those that he does lose, he’ll want to replace with players from a higher level.”

Discussions are ongoing with Nathan Doyle over a possible new deal but there does not appear to be any serious City interest in former Millwall midfielder Therry Racon.