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Middlesbrough make contact with another ex-Cardiff City star as he mulls over offers

Middlesbrough are one of a number of clubs to have made contact over signing free agent Joe Bennett, Gist Vile has learned.

The left back departed the Bluebirds this summer after he and the club failed to reach an agreement over a contract extension.

Cardiff have had a duty of care to aid Bennett on his road to rehabilitation, after he underwent surgery on his knee following a nasty ACL tear back in March, and the player has been working his way back to full fitness by training with the squad in recent months.

Indeed, the 31-year-old is now understood to be back to full fitness after posting a video of himself in full-contact training with Cardiff on Monday morning.

Bennett has logged much of his recovery through social media.

Frequent videos and photos of him training with City’s squad prompted many supporters to think, or hope, that another contract offer would be tabled at some point.

However, manager Mick McCarthy quickly poured cold water over that one when asked about it earlier this month.

“He is in the building and he is going to train. I am more than happy for him to train, he has been a great servant to the club,” McCarthy said.

“I think there was an offer made to him prior to me coming in and it didn’t get signed. That’s just the way it is. Contracts run out. Sadly for him he got injured.

“If he hadn’t have been injured he would have left, played for someone else and we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

“I was quite sad about it because I spoke to Benno when I came in, I knew his contract was running out.

“I discussed with him about staying, then injury comes and it changed it all.”

But Cardiff’s loss will almost certainly be someone else’s gain.

Bennett was signed off by his doctor this week and is now fit enough to start the next chapter of his career.

It is understood that Neil Warnock has been in touch over taking the player back up to Boro, the club with whom Bennett began his career, making 92 appearances in the process.

Warnock already has former Bluebirds Lee Peltier and Sol Bamba up on Teesside, while there has been a back-and-forth over the potential signing of Ciaron Brown, however Cardiff have knocked back Boro’s bid for him.

And Bennett might well be the latest of Warnock’s trusted old charges who could join him up on Teesside, with the left back currently thought to be considering the offer.

Warnock has been desperate to bolster the left-hand side of his defence in this window, which is where his interest in Brown stemmed from.

Boro will have competition, though, as it is understood that other clubs are also interested in taking the experienced free agent this summer.

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