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Exactly what's going on with Cardiff City's contract talks, what's been said and when to expect the retained list

By Glen Williams

Cardiff City fans are eagerly awaiting the club's retained list for the 2022/23 season.

It has been the centre of much of the conversation ever since City's status as a Championship club was consolidated following the 2-1 win over Reading back at the start of April. However it has been a talking point for much of the season, given the players who are currently heading out of contract.

We know Alex Smithies will leave the club — he spoke very well about his departure at the end-of-season awards do following the Birmingham City game — while Marlon Pack took it upon himself to announce that he would be leaving City next month. As for the other eight, precious little has been said.

READ MORE: The latest Cardiff City transfer headlines

In the past, Steve Morison has spoken highly of Joe Ralls. "For me, he’s top five in the Champ, and he’s top five when it comes to stats," Morison said in February. "He’s a fantastic player and one who I’m sure us and the football club will try and keep if it’s possible."

There has been little else to go at as far as Ralls is concerned since then, but it is understood he is a player the club are keen on keeping next season. While conversations have taken place, there has been no concrete answer from Ralls' side as yet with the clock beginning to tick ever louder.

As for Sean Morrison, the Bluebirds captain, it is understood he has been offered some sort of extension as he works his way back to full fitness following his ACL injury back in February. Whatever the outcome of the contract negotiation, though, Morrison will be with the club until he is back fit as the Bluebirds have a duty of care to him.

Back in March, Morison said of Cardiff's skipper: "When [the injury] happened, I said straight away, I spoke to him and said I would speak to the board and we would see if we could do something for him, because he deserves that."

As for the other six — Aden Flint, Ciaron Brown, Will Vaulks, Josh Murphy, Isaac Vassell and Leandro Bacuna — it looks likely they will leave the club when their contracts expire.

Morison said ahead of the final game against Derby County that all players have been told whether they are receiving contracts or not. The club must notify the EFL by the third Saturday of May, which is May 21.

Given that is just eight days away and there are still two loose ends to tie up, it is unlikely we will be seeing anything resembling a retained list until next week and quite probably the back end of next week at that.

Cardiff are currently working hard on bringing bodies into the building, given they might need to replace as many as 21 players, and the next week or two could prove to be very active on that front, too. It's all bubbling away quite fervently behind the scenes as we prepare for the summer business to start in earnest.

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