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Wales Online
Glen Williams

Cardiff City weighing up move for free agent striker already in the building

Cardiff City are deciding whether to offer free agent striker Connor Wickham a contract with the club, WalesOnline has learned.

Wickham, 29, left League One side Forest Green Rovers last month after his short-term deal came to an end. The striker had interest from a number of teams last summer and even had a trial at Reading before joining the Gloucestershire-based side.

Wickham was keen to get games under his belt after years of being ravaged by injury hell. In his 20 games in all competitions for Forest Green this term, he scored nine goals. Now he is understood to be looking for a new challenge.

READ MORE: The Cardiff City team that needs to be chosen for Championship run-in with new captain as crisis looms

It is understood first-team coach Dean Whitehead helped to bring the former Premier League striker into the building before Sabri Lamouchi was appointed Bluebirds manager.

The player underwent rehabilitation with the Cardiff physios with a view to training with the Bluebirds, however that now appears unlikely as the club would be liable for any potential injuries caused should he suffer any while training with the team.

The centre-forward's injury record is clearly a concern for Cardiff, with a short-term contract likely to be the only way this deal gets over the line. He has played more than 20 league games in a single season only once since the 2013/14 campaign.

However, it all hinges on Lamouchi's assessment of the player. Cardiff are desperate for extra firepower in the squad and managed to bring in only one striker on deadline day in the form of Midtjylland front-man Sory Kaba.

Whether the Frenchman feels he has enough goals in the squad with Kaba, Callum Robinson, Kion Etete, Mark Harris and Isaak Davies as his forward options remains to be seen.

Wickham has 69 career goals to his name, during spells with big clubs including Leeds United, Sunderland, Ipswich Town, Sheffield Wednesday and Crystal Palace, which would put him behind only Robinson in the list of goals scored in the current Bluebirds setup.

But while Lamouchi has not ruled out the possibility of bringing in more players on free transfers, he did allude to the lack of match fitness as being a potential issue.

Wickham's last game for Forest Green was almost two months ago, a 1-0 win over Cheltenham Town in League One. Given he was rehabilitating an injury when he arrived at Cardiff, too, how much longer until he would be realistically match fit? That could prove the ultimate stumbling block.

Have your say on Cardiff City's transfer window

"The free transfers is a gamble," Lamouchi said last Thursday. "We need the players ready and the players to help us. I don’t have time to look around. But if we have some good opportunities and ideas to add players to this squad then why not. You never know.

"The players on free transfers aren’t training with a squad. We have to know when they’ll be available to play with us.

"Kevin (Beadell), the head of recruitment, is a very good guy. He’s working out for the club. The club are working out to find the best players and the best solutions for the team. I believe in the club and I believe in Kevin. I believe in the chairman. I believe in all the people here to find the best solution for the club.

"So, it’s not time to complain. It’s not time to ask. It’s time to do. So we have a lot of things to do. First, my job. And the players as well. Each person here in the club should do the same because what we want, all of us, is to play in the Championship next season with Cardiff City.

"That’s it. The rest - good opportunities - why we don’t sign this one. Why we don’t sign that one. Why we don’t find a solution. Maybe, asking this question, you know the result. You know the answer. I know you guys don’t want a bad situation and you want to find a solution to help the club out of this situation."


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