Russell Slade praises 'top professional' David Marshall despite reports of imminent West Brom deal

Russell Slade says David Marshall is in the Cardiff squad to face Blackburn Rovers.

Cardiff City boss Russell Slade has told Wales Online that goalkeeper David Marshall is 'focused and ready' despite reports of a move to West Brom.

The Scottish international, 30, starred in the Bluebirds' Premier League campaign in 2013-14, and whilst many expected him to return to the top flight last summer following Cardiff's relegation to the Championship, the shot stopper remained in South Wales.

Now, Marshall is the subject of intense speculation surrounding his future. The Telegraph report that West Bromwich Albion are on the verge of completing a move to bring the former Celtic man to The Hawthorns, with Tony Pulis desperate to add another goalkeeper to his ranks.

However, Cardiff face Blackburn Rovers away from home on Tuesday night, and with Marshall available following a suspension, manager Russell Slade is choosing to select the goalkeeper - despite the speculation over his future at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Speaking to Wales Online, Slade praised Marshall, calling him a 'top professional' for his attitude despite the rumours of a move to West Brom.

"David is in our squad and will be at Blackburn with us," said Slade. "He has been training normally and is a top professional. He has been as good as gold during his suspension, despite speculation over an offer from West Bromwich Albion. He is focused and ready," he added.

Marshall proved during his season in the Premier League that he has the quality to become a regular in the top flight, and West Brom are in need of a goalkeeper, with Ben Foster sidelined for some time yet with an injury.

Cardiff's willingness to play Marshall may now force West Brom to move in with an improved offer, with Pulis looking to sign a stopper to compete with Boaz Myhill until Foster's return.

One thing Marshall must consider is his first team prospects once Foster does come back from injury, as the England international would be expected to reclaim his No. 1 jersey - and if West Brom can't offer Marshall reassurances, he may end up staying at Cardiff.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch