Ambitious Cardiff leading the chase to sign England defender

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Premier League newcomers Cardiff are lacking in many things, but ambition is not one of them. While they may have added only three new faces to their ranks ahead of their maiden campaign in the top flight, they have tabled several weighty bids for players they seemingly lack the gravitas to acquire.

A rejection from Tom Ince was their first notable shortcoming but this didn’t stop them wading back in with another megabucks offer, this time for Toulouse’s Etienne Capoue. Like Ince, a fee for the French international has been agreed and, while they wait for the player to ponder the south Wales switch, Malky Mackay has lodged an £8m bid for Tottenham and England centre-half Steven Caulker.

Nobody can question the ability that Caulker possesses, though with such an array of talent available at Spurs – available to back for Champions League qualification this season at 11/5 – to choose from, he has often struggled to hold down a regular first team berth. Andre Villas-Boas fielded him from the off in 17 league clashes last term, where he bagged two goals.

Caulker would undoubtedly be a fantastic signing for a club aiming to defy their 13/10 third-favouritism for relegation to the Championship, but it is believed Spurs are holding out for £12m for the player and this could price the Bluebirds out of a deal.

Defence is definitely one of the areas in which Cardiff need to strengthen, with their current crop of centre halves unable to boast too much experience of the rigours of the Premier League.

However, as much as Caulker would be the perfect solution – he’s athletic, strong in the air as well as on the floor and has demonstrated a maturity beyond his 21 years whenever he’s taken to the field – the player would be doing himself a disservice signing for a club of Cardiff’s stature.

His ability is one befitting of a team far higher in the footballing pyramid and, if he is looking to leave Tottenham, he has to be vying for a place in a team challenging for European qualification, as opposed to an outfit that could well be banished back to the second tier this season.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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