City are optimistic about bringing in a new striker before Saturday - whether it’s Aaron Mclean or not.

The Hull forward is still the number one target as the club continue to sift through the attacking options on the market.

A “proven” frontman remains Phil Parkinson’s priority and City are hopeful they could have someone on board, preferably Mclean, for the Yorkshire derby with Sheffield United.

Matthew Bates is waiting to find out if he will be involved at Bramall Lane. The defender, who has made 14 appearances, has been on a three-month contract which ran out after the Bristol City game.

City are currently well stocked for centre halves and Bates’s chances of a new deal could hinge on whether they can off-load one at the same time.

But the focus for now is on the forward line, with Parkinson concentrating his efforts on whittling down a long list of possible targets.

City have been linked with Dagenham’s Rhys Murphy, who has scored 12 goals in League Two. Coventry are also rumoured to be watching the 23-year-old and Crawley boss John Gregory was spotted at their recent game against York.

But sources in east London suggest Murphy, who is in the first of a two-year contract, is settled and in no hurry to move on.

The former Arsenal trainee feels some attachment to Dagenham for giving him an opportunity back in the English game after a ecent spell playing in Holland.

Oliver McBurnie partnered James Hanson in City’s attack on Saturday – only the second senior start for the 17-year-old.

McBurnie twice came close to scoring and showed some glimpses of his potential. But Parkinson is keen to stress the teenager is very much a work in motion.

He said: “Olly is very young and inexperienced. He’s got so much quality and is going to be a really good player but we’ve got to make sure we nurture him correctly.

“We’ve really got to just drip-feed him into this team and make sure we do the right thing for him and the club because he’s a talented boy.

“He’s an intelligent player, he can score goals and I like him. But let’s not build him up too much too quickly. I don’t think that would be helpful to him.

“We shouldn’t put that expectancy on him because he’s a 17-year-old kid.

“But I think in the future, if he can keep developing, then he is going to be very good.”

Parkinson could have Andy Gray back in his plans as the experienced frontman builds up his training after injury.

Gray suffered a dead leg against Peterborough last month in only his second outing of the season. It damaged a nerve which kept him out much longer than expected.