Of course, like most of these suggestions, dependent on whether or not Cardiff City are a Premier League side come the summer, but Lyon right-back Rafael, the twin brother of former Cardiff left-back Fabio, who played for the City between 2014-16, should be up there on a list of free agents worth approaching.
Cardiff are in dire need of a natural full-back and the Brazilian would be a major coup. He’s got bags of experience – playing over 100 games for Manchester United over a seven year period. He’s currently playing for a very talented Lyon side over in France, where he’s made 82 appearances.
Likely to return to his native Brazil, but should Cardiff stay up and Rafael fancy another crack at the Premier League, it could be a brilliant acquisition.
With Cardiff down to their last couple of centre backs and Sol Bamba unlikely to play again this side of Christmas, they are sure to be in the market for another one in the summer. Gary Cahill will soon depart Chelsea after seven year’s service and he has been a class act. Now 33, he is entering the twilight of his career, but remains in great shape and is sure to be in great demand.
Cahill certainly hasn’t accumulated any wear and tear this season, where he has added very miles to the clock. Yet to start in the Premier League, Cahill occasionally appears in cup competitions, but that has been about it. A January move to Fulham failed to materialise and they’ll probably wonder what might have been had he arrived to shore up their porous defence.
Capped 61 times for his country, Cahill probably has one big move left in him. He’s the sort of player Cardiff should be entertaining.
The former German international is the type of target man that Cardiff have been so keen to try and bring in. He turns 31 later in the month, but will certainly be in demand when his Werder Bremen contract winds down. He has averaged about 10 goals a season in the last few yearsand recently drew headlines for racking up six goals and four assists in the space of five games.
Very much a short-term fix, but also very much a Warnock type. With suitable strikers in very short supply and Cardiff not exactly the most desirable of locations, they would be lucky to land someone of Kruse’s calibre and he may find Premier League wages tempting. Plus, he has a really cool name.
Carl Jenkinson has had a strange old career. Having come through the ranks at Charlton, he spent time on loan at Welling and Eastbourne Borough before heading to Arsenal. From there, he enjoyed two loan spells at West #ham, before dropping down a level to play for Birmingham in the Championship.
At international level, he represented England’s Under-17’s, then Finland up to Under-21 level, before returning to the English set-up where he made a solitary appearance. One of the five Arsenal players, including Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, that all signed contract extensions at the same time and were set to form an English spine in the Arsenal side. They have all since moved on, even the manager Arsene Wenger, and Jenkinson will soon follow.
Never quite the same level as the others, Jenkison, now 27, is still an accomplished right back and would represent a smart signing for Cardiff in something of a problem position.
Andy Carroll IS Cardiff City. He’s just one of those players that you can picture in a Cardiff shirt, a bit like Charlie Adam. The 30-year-old is a weapon, for a few weeks every season. A succession of injuries have robbed him of what could have been an incredible season, but he’s still able to turn it on when he’s ever fit enough to play.
Carroll heads out of contract alongside Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck, the three English strikers that were supposed to become integral to the national side. All represent very expensive risks, but the potential pay-off of getting any of them fit and firing is huge. Carroll has already destroyed the Championship in a previous life and you wouldn’t bet against him doing it again.
Carroll has already been linked with a move to MLS, so would need to take a substantial hit on his current £90,000-a-week wages. Currently sidelined, again, with an ankle injury that has ended his season, he has almost definitely played his last game for West Ham and it will be interesting to see where he ends up next.