Relegation Poaching: Who should Villa be targeting from Cardiff City?

Ben Hoskins

Cardiff City have struggled at times, in part due to inexperienced players. Some of these players have gained valuable experience and could be of great help to some teams in the division next season, if Cardiff fail to stay up.

Next up in my dubious series of plucking players from teams likely to be relegated is Cardiff City. The Bluebirds/Red Dragons picked up their first win in over a month last Saturday, beating Southampton 1-0. Still, the Welsh side linger second-bottom with 29 points, and while relegation looks very possible, don't rule anything out just yet. Despite being pretty bad, when looking at their squad some bright young talents appear, and some of these pieces may be able to help a club like, say, Aston Villa.

Remember, I will be rating the likelihood on a scale of 1-10, with 10 meaning that Lambert Should be interested, not that he necessarily Is interested.

Steven Caulker: valued at £6.2m, 22 year old English central defender Caulker has had a solid season for strugglers Cardiff City. After he left Tottenham for around £9m becoming Cardiff's record signing last summer, he has lived up to his reputation. Caulker is dependable, having played every minute in all of Cardiff's 34 Premier League games this year and scoring 5 goals in the process. If Paul Lambert decides to give up on either Baker or Clark, (or both!) Caulker could be a good purchase, but would probably be too expensive.

Likelihood rating: 6/10: He would be a good player, but with Jores Okore coming back and Ron Vlaar not likely leaving anytime soon, the money should be spent elsewhere.

Magnus Wolff-Eikrem The Norwegian central midfielder was brought in this January from Dutch side Heerenveen, after staying there only six months after joining from Molde. He signed for an undisclosed fee, and for an unknown length, but valued at £2.1m the 23 year-old may be the right player at the right price. Not too much is known if he is up to the Premier League standard just yet, having started just once in his five appearances in the league.

Likelihood rating: 6/10: Ole Gunnar Solskjær obviously likes this player, having worked with him for a couple years at Molde. Strangely, Wolff-Eikrem spent two years and made no appearances at Manchester United before switching back to Molde, where he had spent the early part of his youth career. Unless Solskjær is replaced, (you never know with Vincent Tan) I wouldn't expect to see him leave anytime soon.

Kim Bo-Kyung: Aston Villa have been looking for an attacking midfielder for quite some time now. South Korean 24 year-old attacking midfielder Kim Bo-Kyung is valued at £1.65m and under contract only until June 2015 so he looks a decent transfer prospect.

Likelihood rating: 6/10: The price would be right for this player. The problem is with just one goal and no assists in almost 1600 minutes of Premier League action you have to question the production you would get here. It would be a gamble, but not a very expensive one.

Gary Medel: Probably the best player in the squad, Chilean defensive midfielder Gary Medel is the anchor of Cardiff's midfield. At 26 years old, he would be a solid player and you would know what to expect from him week-in and week-out. Under contract until June 2017, having just made the switch last summer from Sevilla, may be the biggest hang-up, but Medel's wages may be a reason that Cardiff would look to sell come summer if they drop to the Championship.

Likelihood rating: 5/10: Valued at £9m, Lambert may not be willing to pay such a fee with Ashley Westwood seemingly cemented at defensive midfielder. However, if a lower price could be negotiated, it could be a good purchase that would improve the team.

Jordon Mutch: English central midfielder Jordan Mutch has really enjoyed a breakout season for Cardiff. With 7 goals and 6 assists in 31 Premier League appearances this season, Mutch has become a dependable player whether he is deployed at central or attacking midfield. The former Birmingham City player is valued at just £2.5m, and fitting Lambert's usual age group for transfer targets at 22, he could be just what Villa need in the summer.

Likelihood rating: 8/10: Contracted only until June 2015, Mutch could be a player who leaves the club because he needs Premier League Football to further his career. Hopefully Villa could be the team he joins.

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