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Page last updated at 15:58 GMT, Monday, 29 December 2008

Sbragia ends Chopra's loan spell

Michael Chopra
Striker Michael Chopra has had a successful loan spell at Ninian Park

New Sunderland manager Ricky Sbragia has ended Michael Chopra's hopes of staying on at Cardiff.

The striker's loan spell finishes on Wednesday and he made it clear he wanted to extend his stay.

But Sbragia told BBC Radio Newcastle: "Michael Chopra's loan spell comes to an end on the 29 December and he will give us another body."

Chopra returned to former club Cardiff in November, scoring five goals in 11 appearances for the Championship side.

The 24-year-old was originally at Ninian Park during the 2006/07 season after joining on a free from Newcastle.

He was an immediate hit in south Wales, scoring 22 goals, but was sold to the Black Cats in July 2007 for 5m.

However, Chopra's time at the Stadium of Light has not been a happy one, slipping down the pecking order under then-manager Roy Keane and also admitting suffering from a gambling addiction.

His return to Ninian Park last month was partly to help his rehabilitation and to get some first-team football under his belt.

And the fans' favourite is keen to stay with the Bluebirds.

"I would love to stay and help Cardiff get promotion," he said.

"I have spoken to the chairman (Peter Ridsdale) and manager (Dave Jones) over the last few days and told them I would love to stay at Cardiff.


"They have told me they will do all they can to make that happen.

"I have made my intention known and it is up to the two clubs now.

"I just hope something can be sorted out because I like the way Cardiff play and things are happening here."

Chopra's last game was Sunday's 1-0 win over Plymouth which lifted Cardiff up to fourth in the Championship.

But with Sunderland light on numbers and 18th in the Premier League Sbragia, who signed an 18-month contract to replace Keane on Saturday, is expecting to see Chopra in training on Tuesday.

He hit out at strikers Djibril Cisse and Kenwyne Jones, claiming they "did not have the spark up front" after the 3-0 defeat at Everton on Saturday.

And Sunderland's website confirmed Sbragia wants Chopra back, meaning he will resist any approach from Cardiff for an extension to the loan.

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see also
Jones hopes to hold on to Chopra
05 Dec 08 |  Cardiff
Sunderland wrap up Chopra signing
13 Jul 07 |  Sunderland

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