Cardiff City may have landed their first major target of the summer transfer window, agreeing to a transfer fee for Blackpool winger Tom Ince.
Ince, who racked up 18 goals and 14 assists in this season’s Championship, had been pegged with a move to the Premier League after Blackpool failed to achieve promotion.
Liverpool, Tottenham and Swansea were believed to be Ince’s favored destinations but things came to a halt when Blackpool manager (and Tom’s father), Paul Ince, hinted that his son’s transfer should command a fee in the range of £15-25 million ($23.1-$38.4m). The soundbite was a turnoff to the aforementioned suitors, who dropped their interest and decided to focus their sights on other targets.
Despite the fee claims, however, Cardiff manager Malky Mackay maintained his admiration for the player and it is now being reported that the club’s Malaysian billionaire chairman, Vincent Tan, has shelled out £8 million ($12.3m) for the winger. Ince’s move to Cardiff City Stadium will be finalized after the player pens a deal for personal terms and successfully passes a medical.
If the deal goes through, Liverpool – who tried to re-sign the player this past January but were thwarted after “heated” negotiations – are set to receive £2.8 million ($4.3m) by virtue of a 35 % sell-on clause for their former academy player.
Ince’s move to South Wales will see the England U-21 international challenge Craig Bellamy and Craig Noone for a starting spot on the Bluebirds’ wing. Ince’s deal also is likely to squash the club’s rumored interest in out-of-favor Chelsea winger Florent Malouda, Fenerbahce’s Dirk Kuyt and Liverpool’s Oussama Assaidi.