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Page last updated at 23:23 GMT, Monday, 1 September 2008 00:23 UK

Cardiff refuse Ledley Stoke talks

By Peter Shuttleworth

Joe Ledley
Joe Ledley is the latest off the Cardiff City production line

Cardiff City refused Joe Ledley permission to speak to Stoke City after the Premier League new boys bid 6m for the Welsh international midfielder.

The FA Cup finalists rejected Stoke's fresh deadline day bid for Ledley but BBC Sport understands he wanted the chance to discuss terms with Stoke.

However, chairman Peter Ridsdale wants to keep Cardiff's prized asset.

"We have informed Joe that he has no authority to speak to anybody," Ridsdale told BBC Sport.

The Championship club have not revealed the interested party but Stoke had an approximate 5m offer rejected last Friday.

Stoke's new bid was believed to be a 6m cash deal - which would have broken their record set by Dave Kitson's 5.5m arrival from Reading - but Cardiff will not say if Ledley requested permission to talk to the newly-promoted Potters.

But sources told the BBC that Stoke boss Tony Pulis is a huge admirer of Ledley and that the player himself wanted to hear Stoke's proposal.

A Cardiff statement confirmed: "We have spoken to the player and the club concerned to reinforce the fact that Joe is not for sale and is an integral part of Cardiff's squad."

Ledley is currently away in Wales camp at their Vale of Glamorgan HQ before their opening World Cup qualifying double-header.

However, he did not dine with his fellow international team-mates on Monday evening as the 21-year-old sorted out his club arrangements on transfer deadline day.

Ridsdale, though, did confirm: "We have been offered 6m for Joe Ledley which we have rejected.

"The explanation I gave him is that not only am I trying to build a world class stadium, but I'm trying to build a team to get into the Premier League - and that means keeping our best players.

"I have no question about his commitment, attitude, skill and ability and that is why he has attracted a bid of that quantum.

"That is why we want to keep him at Cardiff City and I'm sure our fans will be delighted too."

Cardiff have previously turned down bids from Premier League giants Everton and Championship rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers last year.

The highly-rated midfielder has also attracting attention from Fulham, West Brom and Scottish Old Firm rivals Celtic and Rangers.

Ledley and team-mate Roger Johnson are two of the hottest properties outside the Premier League as they played an integral role in Cardiff's march to Wembley when Portsmouth edged out the Welshmen 1-0 in the FA Cup final.

606: DEBATE

Cardiff turned down a 4m bid from Premier League new-comers for Johnson last week and now the Bluebirds have rejected a new transfer deadline day approach for Ledley.

Local boy Ledley has two years remaining on his Bluebirds contract is a Ninian Park academy graduate and a Cardiff fan who told BBC Sport recently: "I've got two years left and I'm happy to stay here for now."

Ledley is set to win his 23rd Welsh cap in their opening 2010 World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan in Cardiff on Saturday.

Bluebirds boss Dave Jones said last week: "Joe is destined to go the Premier League one day, I've no doubt about that and hopefully it will be with Cardiff - the club he supported since he was a boy.

"There's a lot of players here who are capable of playing in the Premier League but the pleasing thing is we don't have to sell unless it is right for us."

Ridsdale insists the Welsh club must "sell one player a season to survive" due to their low average attendances.

But Cardiff have already banked 10m this year as teenage wonderkid Aaron Ramsey left for Arsenal, Chris Gunter signed for Tottenham Hotspur in a 2m deal and Glenn Loovens went to Celtic for 3m.




see also
Johnson agrees new Cardiff deal
22 Jul 08 |  Cardiff
BBC Sport Wales coverage
24 Dec 06 |  Wales


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