Here are your Cardiff City headlines for Wednesday, June 22.
Bale at training ground as talks held with agent
Cardiff City chairman Mehmet Dalman has held talks with Gareth Bale’s agent about a move to the Bluebirds, however many clubs are understood to be interested in the player’s signature.
Bale was at the club’s Vale of Glamorgan training base earlier on Wednesday morning, a facility they share with the FAW. The player was undergoing some physio work with the FAW’s medical staff. It is understood manager Steve Morison spoke with Bale for the first time this summer while the player was at the facility. You can read more about that here.
And we understand that Dalman has been in contact with Bale’s representatives in recent weeks over architecting a move to the player’s hometown club. While it should be stressed that nothing has yet been agreed with anyone, Cardiff are certainly a club who are right in the mix.
Vincent Tan is keeping an extremely close eye on proceedings and is indeed energized by the possibility of having Wales’ greatest ever footballer play for the club he owns. Should Bale decide he wants to join the Bluebirds, it could have a genuine knock-on effect upwards and reinvigorate Tan’s desire to help City back to the Premier League.
It is hoped Bale will make his decision in the coming days before he heads off on holiday again with his family.
Players report for pre-season
Cardiff’s pre-season kicked off today as the players reported for their first day of training.
The staff were back in the building earlier in the week as coaching staff and the club’s new youngster signings, all of whom were announced on Tuesday.
But Steve Morison had his players assemble at the club’s Vale of Glamorgan training base, donning their New Balance training kit, as eight new signings were introduced to the established players.
It is understood there was testing and light training on the first day back.
double appointment confirmed
The Bluebirds confirmed Wales Online’s story that Graham Stack and Patrick Wilson have joined the club’s coaching staff.
Stack joins from Watford as goalkeeping coach and Wilson switches from Bath Rugby to football as he is appointed head of physical performance.
Stack, 40, said: “I’m really pleased to be here. It’s an incredible place. I actually came to Cardiff on trial while I was at Plymouth Argyle and spent a month in the city, and thoroughly enjoyed my time here.
“Steve Morison is someone I have spoken to a lot over the years through football and after discussing the plans for the future, this felt like the right move for me. I’m delighted to be coming in to work with the goalkeepers who we have, and I believe it is going to be competitive. We’ve got some incredible talents on that side.
“Everyone has been hugely complimentary about the club. It’s exciting times for Cardiff City. We’ve got a lot of new faces, who will be looking to make a positive impression. This project is something I’m really looking forward to being a part of.”
Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster tweeted: “Ahhhh stacky this is class!!! Fully deserved! The GKs are gonna love coming into work every single day.”
Wilson, meanwhile, said after his appointment: “The discussions I’ve had with Steve Morison to date have been brilliant. He’s given me such clarity around his game, and he has provided me with plenty of information about the players we have, and the type of things he wants to put in place.
“It’s going to be such an exciting, challenging task to prepare a team, physically and physiologically, to go out and be competitive twice a week. What I bring is my knowledge of the physical and physiological side of these elite athletes, and ensuring that they are ready to implement the manager’s game plan come competition.
“Pre-season is the time where you get an opportunity to understand more about what the players are capable of, both physically and psychologically. We’ll devise strategies which will help the boys see out a game plan, and that’s what pre-season is all about.”
Will Vaulks explains Sheffield Wednesday decision
Will Vaulks has explained his decision to reject offers from the Championship to link-up with League One heavyweights Sheffield Wednesday.
WalesOnline reported that the Owls were keen on the midfielder’s signature, however the Wales international was understood to be keen on staying in the Championship. But, speaking about the move, Vaulks explained just why he chose Hillsborough over many other potential destinations.
“There was interest from the Championship…to be honest it was to be part of a club that wants a successful period and that wants to have promotion and then kick on after that,” he told the club’s website.
“The manager played a massive part in it. No one needed to tell me how big the club is; I am well aware of how big the club is.
“I have been around here long enough and played here enough times to know the size of the club.
“I had positive communication with the gaffer and the plans for the future. I wanted to be part of it and it didn’t take too long and I am happy to be here now.”
He added: “No disrespect to the league but I don’t think there are many other clubs that I would have wanted to join in the league. I wanted to be part of a club that has ambition, which it (Wednesday) certainly does , and it needs to get back higher up in the leagues. It is something that I am here to try and help the club do.”
Portsmouth optimistic over Marlon Pack signing
Portsmouth are reportedly growing more optimistic over the signing of former Cardiff City midfielder Marlon Pack.
WalesOnline revealed that Pack had interest from Bristol City, Shrewsbury and Pompey, having held talks with all three clubs. The Robins’ interest appeared to wane quickly, however that cannot be said for Pack’s first club, Portsmouth, who have been keen on making a new midfield addition this summer.
And the PortsmouthNews report that Danny Cowley’s side are increasingly confident about signing their former player this summer.
They claim negotiations between the two parties are ongoing and hope a deal for the 31-year-old, who hails from Portsmouth, can be wrapped up soon.
Josh Laurent confirmed at Stoke City
Cardiff City transfer target Josh Laurent has been confirmed as a new signing by Stoke City.
The Bluebirds held talks with Laurent, whose contract at Reading expires this summer, with Steve Morison having had a close personal relationship with him from their playing days together at Shrewsbury Town.
However there seemed to be a resignation at Laurent would head elsewhere this summer, with so many Championship clubs understood to be keen on his signature. And, it seems, the Bluebirds’ Championship rivals Stoke have come out on top in this race.
Laurent, who has signed a three-year deal and joins former Bluebird Aden Flint at the Bet365 Stadium, said: “I’m really happy to get it done. There has been interest from Stoke for a while and as soon as it became clear I was going to become a free agent they called me and let me know just how interested they were. They showed me how much they wanted me.
“The manager went down to London to talk to me and that meant a lot. He told me how much he wanted me and assured me that I would play. It was all down to him really because he made me feel wanted and spelt out how he felt he could progress my career.”