STUART McCall is braced for a League Two salary cap as he looks to complete his first business since coming back as City boss.

McCall is close to tying up deals for two players while the club are also understood to be in talks with Billy Clarke.

The Irish striker rejected the chance to stay at Grimsby after his short-term deal and the Bantams are keen to bring him back for a third spell.

McCall remains a fan of Clarke, who played 40 times under him during the 2017 Wembley season, and believes he can offer something different in the squad that he inherited in February.

But it is not a done deal at this stage and discussions are still ongoing. The other two targets are much nearer to being finalised.

City have been linked with former Wolves midfielder Elliot Watt, who was on loan at Carlisle from January, and Levi Sutton, who played for McCall at Scunthorpe.

All City’s business will fit in to the £1.5 million budget model proposed for next season which clubs will vote on at the end of the month.

A majority of just under two-thirds is needed for the cap to come in. While the Bantams are firmly against it, McCall expects the ballot to be passed.

He said: “The general consensus with people is that the salary cap will get voted through. It’s looking likely that the percentage voting for it will happen.

“We’ve got to remember that the majority of football clubs will have to keep an eye on finances. So, everything we’re trying to do is within the salary cap.”

There is a dispensation for the first year of the cap for players already under contract.

City have 14 members of the squad currently which is believed to take up about half of the permitted budget. They have also made offers to Richard O’Donnell and Dylan Mottley-Henry.

The salary cap figure must include all outlay, including bonuses such as appearance money, agents fees and national insurance.

“What people were earning five months ago is totally different to what they are going to be offered now,” added McCall.

“But this is where we are now in the world and it’s happening throughout every industry and workplace. Footballers and agents have got to understand that.

“You see so many clubs having to defer and take wage cuts. It’s a financial balancing act as well.”

Relegated Bolton have raised eyebrows with their transfer strategy.

They have brought in former City striker Eoin Doyle on a three-year deal and are favourites to pip Salford for Plymouth playmaker Antoni Sarcevic.

Midfielder Ali Crawford, who was understood to be a target for McCall, also re-signed on a two-year deal.

McCall said: “People say how can they do that within the cap but it’s how you spend that budget.

“We’ve had the retained and released lists sent through and some of the clubs at our level have still got really big squads.

“But Bolton, for example, haven’t. They have a lot of young kids but have plenty of places to fill.

“If they want to use the money in the salary cap by going and getting a few big hitters, they can do that. It’s about how you use it."