Cardiff City’s summer transfer plans are well under way.
The Bluebirds’ season effectively ended a few weeks earlier than the last game of the campaign, having missed out on the play-offs after a run of frustrating results.
Inadvertently that gave them an edge in terms of their summer transfer planning, meaning they could get a head start on some of their rivals.
They have already brought in James Collins from Luton – with further signings in the pipeline – but what does the future have in store for the rest of the squad?
Here we look at the current state of play…
Alex Smithies and Dillon Phillips
These two have been lumped in together straight from the off because their futures are intrinsically linked.
Can the Bluebirds really afford to have two number ones, especially with Smithies said to be earning top wages at Cardiff City Stadium? Phillips grabbed his chance well.
Expect one to move on this summer, likely Smithies.
A frustrating campaign for the Arsenal youngster who was plagued by hamstring problems during his time in the Welsh capital.
Will head back to north London with another loan move more than likely.
The experienced left-back was this week released by the club. He is currently rehabbing from injury but once he regains fitness there should be plenty of takers for him.
The skipper was a rock once again in the Bluebirds’ backline and he will be back next term marshalling it. A true leader.
Looked for all the world to be leaving the club when he was farmed out on loan to Sheffield Wednesday last summer, but since McCarthy recalled him in January he hasn’t looked back. Dangerous at both ends of the pitch, his future in south Wales looks assured.
McCarthy likes him and although he could bolster his defence this summer with another centre-half, expect Nelson to play a key part going forward.
Like Bennett, Bamba will be leaving the club this summer. On and off the field he will be hard act to follow. A Bluebirds legend.
A breakthrough season for the youngster, he quickly became one of the Bluebirds’ most important players in the second half of the season. Gave Perry Ng a run for his money, too. Expect him to be heavily involved next term.
Has attracted interest from clubs in Belgium and Germany, and with centre-back well stocked, he may have to settle for cameos.
His January arrival gave City a real shot in the arm. Already so important to how the Bluebirds play and perform. Top signing and vital for next season’s play-off push.
Another who has broken through from the academy ranks. Unfortunate to sustain a dislocated shoulder just when Bennett’s own injury had opened up a pathway for him. But once fit, the youngster could give McCarthy a selection dilemma as the manager chases another left-back.
Curiously overlooked by Wales, Vaulks has attracted interest from Newcastle United and Norwich City in recent months. If a reported fee of around £7m is offered, it would be hard to turn that down for a player who has been very good this season.
McCarthy has shifted Bacuna away from right-back duties designated to him by Neil Harris and he looked more at home in the middle of the park. More than likely to be kept this summer, mainly because of his industry.
Has been deployed in midfield and at left wing back and has performed ably and is a key part of McCarthy’s plans. Other clubs are said to be interested, but Cardiff appear to regard him as part of the core of their team.
A winger who blows hot and cold regularly but there is a player there with undoubted talent. But should a tempting bid arrive from a top-flight club it would be hard to turn down.
Should Cardiff City look to re-sign Harry Wilson and Sheyi Ojo? Join the debate in the comments section below
Wales star Williams will be following Bamba and Bennett out of the exit door at Cardiff City Stadium. A shame, but City are looking elsewhere in their quest to replace Harry Wilson. A good Euros and there will be interest, but will he get a chance with Wales? At the moment he is down the pecking order.
A campaign blighted by injury, this summer is crunch time for Tomlin. At peak fitness he is a magician but will McCarthy have the patience?
Only time will tell. Cardiff may look to move him on.
Appears to be one of the boss’ trusty lieutenants. Slipped in at centre-back towards the end of the season and the switch made sense. Another option going forward?
The Liverpool loan man has headed back to Anfield where he’s expected to be sold this summer. Cardiff would love him back, but it would have to be another temporary deal. Unlikely at this stage, but the Bluebirds aren’t ruling it out.
Wilson’s team-mate on Merseyside has also returned north. There is a possibility that Ojo could be available for loan again this summer, which could be of interest to McCarthy.
Announced his exit on Instagram upon the conclusion of the season. Barely featured under McCarthy, expect him to pop up in MLS next, or even at Middlesbrough with old boss Neil Warnock.
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The man of the moment. Having broken through at City towards the end of the season, the teenager just made his international debut against world champions France. One to watch next term, for sure.
Surplus to requirements, according to the gaffer. Has been on loan in Germany but will the Bluebirds be able to find a buyer? Whatever the outcome, his City career appears over.
Hitting 20 goals in a Championship season is a good record. Has been superb this term but finances dictate that should a bid in region of £15million arrive this summer – helped by a good Euros – it would be difficult to reject. Supporters, though, will obviously hope that Moore will be pulling on the blue jersey again next season.
Another whose career has been wrecked by injury, Vassell has barely kicked a ball in anger for two years. McCarthy hinted that he could get his chance to prove himself over pre-season, although he too could be moved on.
Arrived in January with a £1million price tag but has barely seen first-team action. Still quite raw, with Collins’ arrival you wonder whether Watters or Mark Harris will depart on loan for the 2021/22 season.
See above. The Wales youngster could do with a campaign of regular football, perhaps down the pyramid, to really develop his game.
The new man will challenge for a starting spot and give McCarthy another option to Moore. Could prove to be a shrewd signing.