Date:Thursday June 4 2009
Cardiff City are resigned to losing at least one, more likly 2 or even 3 of our prized assets with a number of players attracting attention and harbouring ambitions of Premiership football.
Joe Ledley looks the most likely to leave. With strong interest from Fulham, West Ham, Everton and Stoke City - he is a man in demand and has only a year left on his current Bluebirds deal. Ledley did not reach his best form last season, but was a consistent performer in a disappointing midfield unit.
Ross McCormack is another turning heads with a number of clubs also thought to be tracking him. Middlesborough were interested while Birmingham City also re-ignited their previous attention - though this may abat with the multi-million capture of Christian Benitez. McCormack is hugely ambitious and would jump at the chance to join a Premier League club despite enjoying his current deal at Cardiff.
Roger Johnson is the other 'jewel' in the Bluebirds crown and has attracted big money bids in the past. Just last week, a £3.5m deal was dismissed by the Bluebirds with no further bids invited from the Blues. Nevertheless, an improved bid of £5m may tempt Jones and Ridsdale who somehow need to add 8 players to the current squad.
To me, Roger Johnson is the key player from that trio. Ross McCormack scored 20+ goals in his first season, and those players don't come cheap. Rosco did (a snip at £150k) and we also have Michael Chopra rejoining the club - a ready made replacement. Ledley too is not irreplacable, perhaps his head has been elsewhere this season after missing out on a move to Stoke City. Either way, a major overhaul of midfield is needed. Roger Johnson is the lynchpin, he offers experience, leadership, excellent defensive qualities and a goal threat at the otehr end. Loovens, Purse and Gyepes have all partnered him but none ever looked likely to oust him from the team.
While we ultimately failed this season, we were very good for long spells. To lose Johnson would be to lose the heart of the current team and be akin to starting from scratch. Rumours are that Johnson is set to be offered the Cardiff City captaincy in an attempt to entice him to stay. That seems fair enough to me.
Date:Thursday June 4 2009
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