It is impossible not to be impressed with Cardiff City’s transfer business so far, both in achievement and ambition.
That Victor Wanyama chose Southampton over the Bluebirds is a huge blow. And yet Malky Mackay tempered that disappointment by securing hugely promising centre-back Steven Caulker from Tottenham, shortly after agreeing a fee with Toulouse for Etienne Capoue.
Discussions with the French midfielder are ongoing, but one thing is clear: Cardiff have no intention of treating this season as a brief soiree into dreamland. Having toiled for so long to reach the Premier League, they have every intention of staying for the long haul.
The reality is they do not currently have the squad to do that; at least not with ease. But the latest reports linking them with a loan move for Real Madrid’s Denis Cheryshev are yet another step in the right direction.
Cheryshev – a left-winger who can also play at full-back – has previously been watched by a whole host of clubs both in England and across Europe.
David Moyes is known to be a long-term admirer and attempted to sign him for Everton last year. But the latest reports claim Cardiff and West Ham are among the clubs competing for his temporary services.
Having just signed a new four-year deal at the Bernabeu, any move would be a loan one, but it would also be something of a masterstroke.
Playing for Madrid’s second-team last season, Cheryshev scored 11 goals and provided eight assists, and he is highly regarded by the Spanish giants.
It is down to Cardiff to persuade both the player and his club that they are the side to best develop his potential.
Should Capoue follow – and claims from Toulouse are that he is only a signature away from doing so – Mackay will suddenly have two new players who could propel them up the league and see them flirting with great rivals Swansea City.
That may be a stretch, but the third man to be linked with a move to Wales is Peter Odemwingie – a man with much to prove and the talent to do so.
Should the West Bromwich Albion forward join Cardiff, he could form an impressive partnership with Andreas Cornelius – a player I have a feeling is going to excel next season.
For now everything is a maybe, and Cardiff fans may have to wait until the closing stages of the transfer window to see exactly how their squad will look for the new campaign.
And yet the way they are doing business, the ambition they are showing and the players they are reportedly focusing on, suggests Cardiff are not simply buying to survive, they are buying to build.
Who do you think Cardiff will ultimately sign this summer? And how high can they finish in the Premier League?
image: © joncandy