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Routledge rejects Cardiff for QPR

Wayne Routledge
Routledge has scored twice for Cardiff since joining on loan in November

Aston Villa winger Wayne Routledge has rejected a permanent move to Cardiff City to sign for QPR.

The 23-year-old has impressed during his six week loan spell at Cardiff but Routledge has snubbed the Bluebirds to sign for their Championship rivals.

The FA Cup finalists bid an estimated 300,000 for Routledge and offered him a three-and-a-half year contract.

But Cardiff chief Peter Ridsdale said: "We have been informed that Villa have a agreed a deal with another club."

Cardiff were confident of signing the former England under-21 international as Bluebirds chairman Ridsdale said the club were "close" to agreeing a permanent deal for Routledge on New Year's Eve.

But Routledge, whose loan spell at Ninian Park was due to expire on 17 January, has been recalled to Premier League giants Villa after agreeing a move to QPR.

QPR are a club with huge ambitions and as soon as they showed an interest in me, I was determined to speak to them.

Wayne Routledge

Routledge signed a three-and-a-half year deal at mega-rich QPR, renowned as one of the richest clubs in the world as the London club is owned by billionaire Formula One tycoons Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore.

Ridsdale told BBC Sport: "We couldn't have done any more to keep him.

"We spoke to Villa and while we had not concluded a transfer fee we felt it was pretty close so that wasn't the issue.

"The issue was the lad himself wanted to go.

"We offered him a three-and-a-half-year contract on terms that were frankly very generous and all week he had been stalling on whether to except.

"That told me he was in two minds and I wasn't surprised when I got the phone call from Aston Villa on Friday morning.

"I don't know which club has got him must have made a very, very generous financial offer as ours was extremely generous - and maybe it wasn't money, maybe it was geography."

But Routledge said: "QPR are a club with huge ambitions and as soon as they showed an interest in me, I was determined to speak to them.

"The manager has a great vision about where he wants to take the club and he sees me playing a big part in that.

"It's nice coming back to London but the geography didn't play a big part in my decision.

"The reason I am here is because the manager Showed an unbelievable desire to get me to QPR and I am delighted to have sealed the move."

Ridsdale added: "We are left to thank him for his six weeks at the club and to focus on the FA Cup match this weekend."

606: DEBATE

The former Tottenham Hotspur star joined Cardiff on a two-month loan deal in November as Dave Jones sought cover for injured midfielders Joe Ledley and Peter Whittingham.

London-raised Routledge, who has Ashley Young and James Milner ahead of him in the Villa pecking order, has made just two substitute appearances for Villa since joining from Tottenham for 1.25m in January 2008.

Routledge helped inspire the Bluebirds to fourth in the Championship and was part of their eight-match unbeaten run.

But Routledge rejecting Cardiff just days after striker Michael Chopra's successful loan spell was terminated by his parent club Sunderland is another blow to boss Dave Jones' Championship play-off push.

"I have been in football too long to say this is a big blow," said Ridsdale.

"He was a player clearly we would have liked as part of the squad, that's why we made an offer to him.

"But it's a bit like in the summer when we went for a couple of targets and didn't get them. In the benefit of hindsight, we are better off having failed in some of those opportunities.

"We have other targets and the prerequisite for any player we bring to Cardiff City is that they want to play for us.

"And when a player rejects an offer as generous as ours, it's telling you that they don't want to play for us in which case it is the right decision and we'll move onto players who do want to play for us."

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see also
Sbragia ends Chopra's loan spell
29 Dec 08 |  Cardiff
Cardiff seal Routledge loan move
20 Nov 08 |  Cardiff
Villa move a step up - Routledge
05 Feb 08 |  Aston Villa
BBC Sport Wales coverage
28 Oct 08 |  Wales


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