We know Cardiff have been cutting costs since they plummeted to the Championship a year ago. But who are the players the Bluebirds can bring in without breaking the bank, and who will also make a positive difference to the team?
Promotion is the target for the 2015/16 season, so the Bluebirds need to look for players with Premier League pedigree. Here are our top suggestions for Slade’s scouting dossier:
David Cotterill (Birmingham City)
At 27, the Welsh forward is not the youngest but he would be a good fit at the Cardiff City Stadium after exhibiting good form for Birmingham City and Wales. Chris Coleman has entrusted him to lead the Welsh attack in the absence of a recognise centre forward and Cotterill’s versatility could add to Slade’s squad when Conor McAleny returns to Everton in the summer.
Rafael Da Silva (Manchester United)
The young right back has fallen out of favour at Old Trafford and could be transferred in the summer. Cardiff would be a possible destination given the popularity of his twin brother Fabio with Bluebirds fans. He has genuine Premier League pedigree, with three winners’ medals under his belt. Double trouble?
Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn)
The former Huddersfield man has notched 16 goals for Blackburn this term, yet has dropped below ex-Bluebird Rudy Gestede and Norweigan hitman Joshua King in the Ewood Park pecking order. He may be more prone to a a move to the top flight, but Cardiff could do with a goalscorer with his talents.
Ryan Jack (Aberdeen)
A left-field choice, but the 23-year-old has attracted interested from Napoli and Roma this season after he being been instrumental in propelling the Dons to second in the Scottish Premier League, just behind Celtic. He is a young, dynamic midfielder who could be the perfect replace for old-stager Peter Whittingham.
Alex Mowatt (Leeds United)
Would be a controversial acquisition from the old enemy Leeds, but the young midfielder has netted eight teams this season, including a goal at Cardiff City Stadium for Neil Redfearn’s side. An energetic box-to-box player, but unlikely to sign.
Danny Graham (Sunderland)
Perhaps an even more controversial choice, given his strong links with bitter rivals Swansea, but Graham is sure to leave Sunderland in the summer and will be an ideal fit for any Championship club on the look-out for a proven goalscorer. Would slot in nicely to Slade’s 4-4-2 system.