Joe Ralls absent from Cardiff City’s pre-season preparations as deal impasse remains

Cardiff City’s players will report for pre-season training on Wednesday and it will be a very different group to the one which walked off the pitch at Pride Park on the final day of last season. Almost unrecognisable, in fact.

It signals the dawn of a new Cardiff City era, a club which needed shaking up after a few stale years, so believe those at CF11. There is now a new-look playing roster, coupled with a much-changed backroom staff bolstered by the arrivals of goalkeeping coach Graham Stack and head of physical performance PJ Wilson. You can read more about their appointments here.

There will be as many as eight new players at the club’s Vale of Glamorgan training base on Wednesday, joining the dozen or so players who still remain at the club from last season. But there will be one notable absentee.

READ MORE : Cardiff City now odds-on to sign Aaron Ramsey

Joe Ralls is still yet to sign the contract which has been put to him by Cardiff. Some might think that, due him to being under contract until the end of this month, he will be there for day one of pre-season training this week. However, WalesOnline understands that won’t be the case.

While Ralls and the club remain at an impasse over his deal, the player will not be taking part in pre-season preparations.

Cardiff are adamant the ball is now in Ralls’ court and has been since they put the contract to him some months ago some time. The club believe they have offered the 28-year-old midfielder the best deal they possibly can, one which would make him the highest-paid player at the club as things stand.

As ever with these sorts of things, it is never put in the public domain just how much these players are earning, however rumours that Ralls was offered half of his current salary were vehemently denied by sources at Cardiff.

As for Ralls himself, sources close to the player have insisted this decision is not one which will be made over the money offered to him, rather the sort of project he would be signing up for. It is understood the player wanted to take his time and carefully consider his next steps while Steve Morison assembled his squad for next year, to see how he would fit in and what the realistic ambitions of the club are for next term.

Ralls has more than 300 Cardiff City appearances to his name, having this year celebrated 12 years at the club. This next decision will ultimately decide whether he goes on to become a one-club man, a player adored by the Bluebirds fan base and likely revered as a Cardiff City legend. On the flipside of the coin, it might represent the opportunity for him to embark on a new adventure, a change of scenery after so long in the Welsh capital.

Whichever he chooses, the size of the deal, in the current budgetary constraints Cardiff find themselves working within, coupled Morison’s previous positive comments about the player, shows that he is someone the Bluebirds want to keep around next season. The lion’s share of City fans would love to see him sign on the dotted line, too, of that there is little doubt.

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