These are your Cardiff City headlines on Friday, March 25.
Bale backed for Bluebirds switch
Wales legend Ian Rush says it wouldn’t surprise him if man of the moment Gareth Bale pitched up at Cardiff City next season.
Bale, fresh from his stunning brace against Austria in the 2-1 World Cup play-off semi-final win last night, is out of contract at Real Madrid this summer, with the chances of him staying in the Spanish capital practically zero. With the tournament in Qatar in November a tantalising carrot for the 32-year-old, a new club will need to be found come July.
Rush believes that there will be interest from the Premier League in Bale but also floated the fear that the demands of the division could be a factor in his decision-making process.
“Gareth Bale’s next club move is a crucial one,” he said. “His contract is up at Madrid this summer so he’ll want to make sure he takes up the right offer if Wales are going to Qatar in December. I’m sure there’ll be interest from the Premier League but it’s a very demanding league, so will he want to put his body through that if there’s a World Cup to go to? I’m not sure.
“He’ll keep his options open and one of those offers might be Cardiff. It would not surprise me if he went there. He’s a Cardiff boy and even though they’re in the Championship I don’t think that would bother him too much. He certainly wouldn’t be going there for the money but it ticks a lot of other boxes. He’d be doing Wales proud because it’s his hometown team and it would allow him to prolong his international career if he’s playing at a less demanding level in his club career.”
Cardiff to monitor McManus’ progress
Cardiff are set to keep tabs on The New Saints striker Declan McManus over the course of the rest of the season.
Scottish forward McManus has bagged an impressive 27 goals this term for the newly-crowned Welsh champions and his form has attracted the interest of the Bluebirds.
Sources claim Cardiff have already been monitoring the striker, and are likely to continue doing so until the end of the season, or possibly into the summer, with TNS set to take part in the upcoming Champions League qualifiers in June.
A striker is likely to be at the top of Steve Morison’s wishlist this summer, with Salford City forward Brandon Thomas-Asante another name to be linked recently. You read about that here.
Whyte set for international run-out
Cardiff loanee Gavin Whyte is set to earn his 22nd cap for Northern Ireland tonight.
Ian Baraclough’s side face Luxembourg in a friendly, and White will be looking to transfer his good form for Oxford onto the international stage.
“Obviously the last trip I started against Italy at Windsor Park, which was a really good night for me and my family, it’s a proud moment,” said Whyte. “Every time I play for Northern Ireland, I’m very proud.”
Whyte has grabbed 10 assists already this term for the U’s but admits his finishing needs work. He has one goal to his name at present.
“They know what I’m about, they probably haven’t seen it this season,” said Whyte. “I’ve been unlucky with illnesses and some injuries but that’s not an excuse.
“I need to be a little bit better with goals and assists, but they know what I’m about and I know what I can do, so it’s about me working hard and hopefully it’ll come soon. I’ve got the ability to do it, the gaffer thinks so too, so it’s up to me that when I get on the pitch, I do it and hopefully give the fans something to cheer about.”
Hugill on being made to train alone at West Brom
Jordan Hugill says he’s loving life at Cardiff City after being frozen out by West Bromwich Albion earlier in the season.
Hugill has enjoyed a reasonably successful stint with the Bluebirds since arriving on loan in January, making a solid contribution to Steve Morison’s bid to ease any relegation concerns with a useful tally of three goals and two assists in 11 league appearances.
The 29-year-old admits his progress in a Cardiff shirt has been made all the more enjoyable after the way his previous loan spell at the Baggies ended.
“It does feel a bit sweeter,” he told the official EFL podcast. “You look at where Cardiff were and probably look at me saying ‘he’s going there and might get relegated’ but to go there and do what we’ve done, it’s nice to show people that actually I can do it and I am a good player. You give me a chance this is what I can do.
“There were times at West Brom when things weren’t going my way. I was getting left out the squad and training on my own and for me sometimes a little break away from football.
“I like proving people wrong. People expect you in those situations to just chuck your toys out the pram and not do what you’re told. But when it’s asked of me in that way, I go to a different level. I work harder. I do extras. I go to the gym every day. I do go around with heavy weights.
“Some of the best times I trained at West Brom were when they were maybe making me train on my own and then getting me back in for a few sessions. I knew what I was doing and I felt comfortable in what was going on. I wasn’t reacting in a way that they probably thought I was going to react. Then I got my head down, worked even harder, got in the gym, and I came away thinking ‘I’ve done my extras, I’ve trained well and everything that I can control, I’ve done’.
“You can only control what you can control.”
Read the full story here
Boro clash moved
Cardiff’s trip to Middlesbrough has been put back 24 hours after being selected for live TV coverage.
The fixture, was initially due to take place on the same weekend as Boro’s recent FA Cup quarter-final against Chelsea, and was subsequently re-arranged for Tuesday 26 April (7.45pm).
However, it will now take place the following evening on Wednesday 27.