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Page last updated at 09:34 GMT, Thursday, 31 December 2009

Cardiff City prepared for Wales star Joe Ledley's exit

FA CUP THIRD ROUND Bristol City v Cardiff City
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Cardiff City midfielder Joe Ledley
Midfielder Joe Ledley has captained both Cardiff City and Wales

Chairman Peter Ridsdale believes Wales international Joe Ledley will look for a move away from Cardiff City.

The 22-year-old's current Bluebirds deal expires in the summer and a host of Premier League clubs are reportedly interested in signing the midfielder.

Ledley and the Championship club have been in contract stalemate for months.

Cardiff chief Ridsdale concedes: "Joe's contract expires in the summer and unless things change, I expect him to be looking for pastures new in June."

The January transfer window opens on New Year's Day with the Cardiff futures of both long-serving Ledley and teenage right-back Adam Matthews in doubt.

Top-flight clubs have been linked with two of Cardiff's finest academy graduates.

Everton, Stoke and Wolves have tracked Ledley while Matthews has courted attention from Manchester United and Arsenal.

Ledley, who has been with Cardiff since the age of nine, was once rated at £6m when Stoke had a bid rejected for him in September 2008.

But now his value has plummeted as his contract has run down and Ledley's form has suffered due to a troublesome hip injury which requires surgery.

Players can leave clubs on a free transfer once their contract expires but Cardiff will receive compensation, albeit a minimal sum, under FA rules for Ledley as the Welsh club developed the player.

Cardiff City chairman Peter Ridsdale
We've made it clear every player has his price

Cardiff City chairman Peter Ridsdale

Wales under-21 international Matthews, on the other hand, is rated at £3m and the 17-year-old has been tipped as a potential star of the future.

Ledley and Cardiff have failed to agree terms on a new four-year deal - with the player feeling he deserves a wage closer to the club's top-earners.

And the 32-times capped Welshman, who has been the subject of consistent transfer speculation for the last few years, can sign a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club from 1 January with Scottish old firm giants Celtic and Rangers interested.

Ledley, hailed as a "Steven Gerrard-style" talisman by his boss Dave Jones, admitted in September that "hopefully it will be resolved as soon as possible and I'll stay and I'll be happy."

But club and player have not reached an agreement and the home-town hero said "no comment" when asked about his contract situation after he scored his first goals of the season in Monday's 4-4 draw at Peterborough United.

And Ridsdale, who says Cardiff "need to sell one player a season to survive," told BBC Sport: "We've made it clear every player has his price.

"With Joe Ledley there has been no movement whatsoever and he has been made two different offers.

"The last one of which was six or seven weeks ago and I neither had that accepted or formally rejected so I don't know where we are.

"All we know Joe's contract expires in the summer and unless things change I expect him to be looking for pastures new come June.


"And we haven't had a bid for any of our players, including Adam Matthews, and if we do we will assess it at the time."

Cardiff, though, hope to bolster their Premier League promotion chasing squad rather than weaken it and boss Jones is targeting midfield and frontline reinforcements in the transfer window.

Jones' transfer kitty has been boosted by an approximate £3m cash injection thanks to a season ticket initiative which will see supporters get a full refund on their 2010/11 passes should Cardiff win promotion to the top-flight.

The Bluebirds have sold more than 9,000 season tickets - the day before the New Year's Eve deadline - and Ridsdale has promised that the funds received will be used to buy new players.

"We have made it clear we want to strengthen our squad," said Ridsdale.

"And we will do so as I expect to come out of January stronger than we went into it and we have been delighted with the response of the season ticket initiative."

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see also
Cardiff target midfielder Watson
30 Dec 09 |  Cardiff
Ridsdale backs under-fire Jones
30 Dec 09 |  Cardiff
Rae deepens Cardiff injury crisis
30 Dec 09 |  Cardiff
Cardiff see off winding up order
16 Dec 09 |  Cardiff
Cardiff cup tie live on internet
09 Dec 09 |  FA Cup
Cardiff admit Ledley needs hip op
09 Dec 09 |  Cardiff
Cardiff reject Matthews sale talk
27 Nov 09 |  Cardiff
Ledley set for Cardiff deal talks
23 Oct 09 |  Cardiff
Ledley considers new Cardiff deal
01 Sep 09 |  Cardiff
Ledley hailed Cardiff's 'Gerrard'
28 Aug 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
Cardiff turn down bid for Ledley
25 Jan 09 |  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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