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Page last updated at 18:58 GMT, Friday, 28 August 2009 19:58 UK

Ledley hailed Cardiff's 'Gerrard'

Joe Ledley
Joe Ledley has played more than 200 Football League games for Cardiff

Dave Jones has urged Joe Ledley to commit his future to the Bluebirds - as the current Wales skipper is Cardiff City's equivalent to Steven Gerrard.

England star Gerrard is Liverpool's talismanic midfielder and Jones insists Ledley has the same impact on Cardiff.

The 22-year-old midfielder revealed he is set to end speculation about his future and sign a new Cardiff deal.

Jones said: "Without going overboard, Joe could have as big a impact here as Steven Gerrard has at Liverpool."

Gerrard is Liverpool's iconic driving force that has inspired the famous club to ten trophies, including the 2005 Champions League crown and two FA Cup wins.

Ledley, like Gerrard, is the heartbeat of his team but his future is in limbo because the lifelong Cardiff fan is in the final year of his current Bluebirds contract.

Cardiff refused a £6m from Premier League Stoke City on the final day of last year's summer transfer window while the Bluebirds also turned down a bid from an unnamed top-flight club in January.

Ledley has not been subject of a bid this summer but is still being linked with potential moves to Stoke, Everton and Hull City.

Now Jones has urged him sign an improved deal at the Championship leaders and help guide his home-town club into the top-flight.

"What Stevie Gerrard does at Liverpool, Joe can do here," Bluebirds boss Jones told BBC Sport.

Jones hopeful on Ledley contract

"Stevie is a red through and through and everything about Liverpool is Stevie Gerrard.

"While everything about Joe Ledley is Cardiff City and everything about Cardiff City is Joe Ledley and that is why we are fighting so hard to keep him.

"So it would be great if we can put all of this speculation to bed and Joe can get on with his life.

"Joe has played a lot of games in a short space of time and he is part of this football club as he has been here since he was nine years of age. He's a Cardiff boy through and through.

"But sometimes it doesn't matter if they've signed a new contracts as good players will always attract speculation.

Ledley's agent David Baldwin is set to meet with Cardiff chairman Peter Ridsdale with the next few days to discuss terms on a possible four-year contract for the 30-times capped international.

The deal is likely to concluded if Ledley is not sold in this current transfer window, which closes on Tuesday 1700 BST.

Any new deal would include a buy-out clause of approximately £5m to £6m so if a Premier League club shows an official interest, Ledley would be allowed to talk to any prospective buyer.

"I'll be really pleased if Joe stays," said Jones. "As Joe is a massive part of what we're trying to do here.

"It will be a fantastic signing for us and a great boost for everyone here. It will be great for this football club if Joe settles his future because the speculation won't go away otherwise."

The uncertainty surrounding Ledley's future cost him the captaincy.

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And he admitted afterwards: ""Being captain meant more to me than anything. I am from Cardiff, and my family were chuffed because it is important to all of us that I am captain of Cardiff."

Jones understood Ledley's disappointment at losing the captaincy as the Cardiff manager felt the same stripping the player of his prized possession.

"The disappointment was me taking the captaincy off him because of the speculation and uncertainly surrounding his future," said Jones.

"I didn't think it was right to give him the captaincy when he could be gone in two weeks time - that was all explained to Joe.

"He wasn't very happy with it. But he understood the reasons and accepted them.

"But it hasn't done his performances any harm as he has just got on with it because he is a good professional and is made of good stuff.

"He could have got paid more over the last year or so but it hasn't affected him."

Ledley, who has skippered Wales in Craig Bellamy's absence recently, was named alongside fellow Cardiff player Roger Johnson in the Professional Footballers Association's Championship team of the year last season.



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see also
Ledley considers new Cardiff deal
01 Sep 09 |  Cardiff
Ledley urged to rethink contract
03 Aug 09 |  Cardiff
Cardiff warn Hull over Ledley fee
23 Jul 09 |  Cardiff
Cardiff and Ledley still in limbo
13 Jul 09 |  Cardiff
Cardiff ready for Ledley offers
17 May 09 |  Cardiff
Stoke to revive Ledley interest
16 May 09 |  Cardiff
Ridsdale issues player warning
16 May 09 |  Cardiff
Jones hints at Ledley departure
04 May 09 |  Cardiff
Cardiff turn down bid for Ledley
25 Jan 09 |  Cardiff
Jones unhappy with Ledley's agent
14 Dec 08 |  Cardiff
Ledley will see out Cardiff contract
13 Dec 08 |  Cardiff
Ledley expects to stay at Cardiff
02 Jul 08 |  Cardiff
Cardiff refuse Ledley Stoke talks
01 Sep 08 |  Cardiff
Ledley extends Cardiff contract
02 Oct 07 |  Cardiff
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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