Gabbs probably off to Cardiff City (within days)
CARDIFF CITY want to bring Danny Gabbidon back to the Bluebirds, the WalesOnline can reveal.
And the West Ham star is keen on heading back to South Wales to bolster the club’s push for the Premier League.
But now Cardiff boss Dave Jones faces a race against time to seal a deal for the classy centre-back before the transfer window slams shut on Monday.
Gabbidon made more than 200 appearances in five years at Ninian Park before sealing a big-money move to West Ham in 2005.
Cardiff are thought to have already made an approach to the Upton Park outfit about securing a deal for the 31-year-old, out of contract with the Londoners in the summer.
But, despite Gabbidon apparently eager to return to the club where he first rose to prominence, West Ham chief Avram Grant has so far blocked the Bluebirds’ advances.
“At the moment Danny is concentrating on playing for West Ham,” said Gabbidon’s agent, Jamie Moralee of New Era Global Sports Management. “But the only club that could take his eyes off that is Cardiff.
Cardiff could move again for Gabbidon when the loan window opens next week, but with the Cwmbran-born ace very much part of Grant’s first-team plans the Bluebirds could still find their chances limited.
Jones has made no secret of his desire to strengthen his defence this January, landing centre-back Dekel Keinan from Blackpool after a deal for Bolton’s Andy O’Brien and an ambitious loan bid for Spurs star Jonathan Woodgate came to nothing.
But it is thought Cardiff are keen to bring Gabbidon’s experience and calming influence on board as they look to push for the Premier League, club captain Craig Bellamy known to be a big admirer of his former Wales and West Ham colleague.
Gabbidon was a huge hit during his time with Cardiff, signed from West Brom in a £500,000 deal while still only 21 before going on to establish himself as the best defender outside the Premier League.
He was an early success with West Ham, too, helping the club to the FA Cup final in his first season and picking up the club’s player of the year prize.
But his time at the Boleyn Ground was then hit by serious injury issues, hip and groin problems costing him more than a season out of the game.
And, despite concerns over his fitness, it is no doubt Gabbidon would be able to offer a stability should Jones manage to persuade Grant to allow him to leave ahead of the end of his contract.
It would also represent a successful January transfer window for Jones, who had gone on record to say he wanted five new faces before it opened, going on to land striker Jon Parkin from Preston and defender Keinan as well as sealing loan deals with Arsenal for playmaker Aaron Ramsey and attacking option Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.