Ledley urged to rethink contract

03 August 2009 06:39
Dave Jones wants Cardiff City captain Joe Ledley to sign a new contract even if he intends to leave the club.Bluebirds boss Jones has revealed the Wales international, who has just 12 months left on his current deal, has been offered a new contract. "We've offered him a contract with a get-out clause if someone comes in for him," Jones said. "We've never stood in anyone's way - look at Roger Johnson. At the end of the day Joe is losing money." The 22-year-old midfielder is one of the hottest properties outside the Premier League and has been consistently linked with a move to the top-flight with Stoke City, West Ham United, Hull City and Wolverhampton Wanderers interested in signing him. The 'will he or won't he' uncertainty surrounding Ledley's Cardiff future still remains despite the new Championship season starting on Saturday as the Bluebirds welcome Scunthorpe United to their new stadium. Ledley, who is rated at £4m, could leave Cardiff on a free transfer when his current contract expires next summer and the Welsh club would receive only a minimal fee in compensation. But Jones now wants the saga to be sorted and has urged the midfielder to sign a new deal at his home-town club. And Jones, who has repeatedly stressed his desire for Ledley to stay, has warned the longer the current contract stalemate goes on, the more difficult it will be for the player to remain as Cardiff skipper. "Joe's got a decision to make," said Jones. "I want him to stay, but it doesn't give out the right vibes if the club captain is looking to get away. "We'll use him while he's here but it may get harder to pick him as captain. "We know we'll get full commitment off Joe but we want that in a contract rather than just going out and playing. "It's like we're just getting him fit for someone else and we're not about that - we're trying to build something at this football club. "We're happy to go until the end of the season because it then goes under the compensation rule," said Jones, who expects the player to meet with his agent David Baldwin this week. Cardiff rejected a reported £6m bid for Ledley last summer from Stoke and there was more interest in the January transfer window when Cardiff rejected numerous Premier League bids. "We've never stood in anyone's way," continued Jones. "Roger Johnson signed a contract, then a couple of months later Birmingham gave us a figure and he goes. "I don't like it, but that's the way the club has to work at the moment." Cardiff fan Ledley, who has been at the club since the age of nine, graduated through the productive Bluebirds youth academy and was named alongside Johnson in the Professional Footballers Association's Championship team of the year last season. Chairman Peter Ridsdale has previously admitted Cardiff "needs to sell a player a year to survive" but the Bluebirds have already sold defender Johnson this summer for £5m. Cardiff striker Ross McCormack has also been linked with a £6m move to the Premier League recently with Portsmouth and Hull City reportedly interested. Ledley hobbled off with an ankle injury in the last minute of Cardiff's 2-0 friendly defeat to Valencia on Saturday - but his substitution was said to be a precautionary measure.

Source: BBC_Sport