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Cardiff's Joe Ledley will travel to AS Roma for talks

Cardiff City midfielder Joe Ledley

Ledley on Celtic's radar

By Chris McLaughlin

Cardiff City midfielder Joe Ledley will travel to Rome to meet with officials of AS Roma to discuss a deal and assess the facilities at the club.

Ledley, 23, visited Celtic's Lennoxtown training complex on Monday and was believed to be close to signing.

However, BBC Sport Wales understands that, while Celtic remain favourites to sign him, Ledley is also considering interest from Old Firm rivals Rangers.

If Ledley opts to move to Scotland, no compensation would be paid to Cardiff.

The Cardiff-born product of the club's youth system is reaching the end of his contract, but Celtic, Roma and Rangers also face competition from Everton, West Ham United, Blackburn Rovers and Wigan Athletic for his services.

He could be Neil Lennon's first signing as Celtic's new manager, with the Northern Irishman expected to be confirmed in the post within days.

Ledley's hopes of entering the Premier League in England with Cardiff were dashed when they lost 3-2 in the Championship play-off final despite the midfielder scoring to put the Welsh side 2-1 ahead.

He will not have had to look far to receive advice about playing in the Scottish Premier League.

Cardiff winger Chris Burke, midfielder Gavin Rae and striker Ross McCormack all played for Celtic's city rivals, Rangers.

MY SPORT: DEBATE

The new board at Cardiff said last week that they would offer the player an improved offer to stay.

His negotiations with his hometown club had dragged on for 18 months, but he said he would only make a decision on his future once he knew which division they would be playing in next season.

Ledley, who has been with Cardiff since the age of nine, was distraught at the final whistle at Wembley, possibly an indication that he realised his ambitions would take him away from Wales.

If the player decides to move to England's top flight the buying club would have to pay a compensation fee to Cardiff because he is under 24.

Cross-border transfers do not require a fee once a player turns 23 and Rochdale were left disappointed at the end of the season, when Aberdeen snapped up Northern Ireland defender Rory McArdle in similar circumstances.

While Ledley could be heading for Glasgow, former Celtic striker Craig Bellamy has admitted he would be interested in joining Cardiff should he be allowed to leave Manchester City.

However, the Cardiff-born 31-year-old has himself been linked with Celtic along with a number of other players from the Premier League in England.

Meanwhile, Celtic have been in negotiations with Nancy about the transfer of midfielder Landry N'Guemo, who was on a season-long loan with a view to a permanent move.

Their first signing, though, could be the announcement that Lennon will be manager after finishing the season as caretaker following the sacking of Tony Mowbray.



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see also
Bellamy eyes Cardiff City future
31 May 10 |  Cardiff
Cardiff's 6m investment approved
27 May 10 |  Cardiff
Brown wants Lennon and Campbell
26 May 10 |  Celtic
Celts miss Reid/wait for N'Guemo
26 May 10 |  Celtic
Celtic rubbish Boyd move reports
25 May 10 |  Celtic
Cardiff set to offer Ledley deal
26 May 10 |  Cardiff
Jones commits future to Cardiff
25 May 10 |  Cardiff
Blackpool 3-2 Cardiff
22 May 10 |  Championship


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