1. Andy King
A Premier League winner, a European Championship semi-finalist, 47 caps at senior international level and 94 Premier League appearances for Leicester and Swansea.
It must be agreed that Andy King’s career on paper is very impressive for any professional footballer. However, he has found himself surplus to requirements for Leicester City, featuring only 11 times last season before being loaned out to help Swansea battle relegation from the top division. Swansea were unable to avoid the drop and King is now back at Leicester, looking extremely unlikely to feature in their side this year.
He would offer Cardiff versatility in midfield, be able to play as a no.10 having done so for most of his career for Leicester, as well as a deeper role as he done for Wales in the recent Euro and World Cup qualifying campaigns.
King would likely be a much cheaper option than most midfielders with his experience and wouldn’t demand crazy wages that Cardiff couldn’t pay.
2. Ryan Woods
An incredibly intelligent midfielder that could no doubt make the big step up to the Premier League.
Ryan Woods has already racked up 206 league appearances for Shrewsbury and Brentford by the age of 24 in a career that has spanned just 6 seasons. Just over half of these games have come at Championship level.
He can play in a variety of positions across midfield because his wide range of attributes allow him to hold that flexibility. A great passer, strong tackler with a near-perfect sense of positioning in midfield.
Brentford would likely demand a transfer fee of £10 million+ for Woods this summer and currently Swansea are favourites to sign him.
3. Alfred N’Diaye
The tough tackling central midfielder that Cardiff are desperate for in their bid to stay up this season.
He was instrumental in Wolves’ promotion to the Premier League last season and spent the summer playing for Senegal at the World Cup. He would no doubt provide much needed competition to Aron Gunnarsson and Loic Damour.
Neil Warnock has already publicly stated his interest in N’Diaye when Grujic became unavailable to sign.
Even still, if no other option becomes available Cardiff might have to increase the budget in a desperate attempt to bring in some more quality.
4. Scott McTominay
McTominay could be a potential season-long loan option from Manchester United after breaking into their first team last season, as well as debuting for the Scottish national team.
I’m not sure how likely he could be to sign for anyone on loan this season, but looking at the options Man Utd have in midfield (Pogba, Fred, Pereira, Matic, Fellaini, Herrera, Mata) you would think McTominay is currently bottom of the central midfield pecking order.
He lacks experience at the highest level but showed glimpses of fantastic quality last season. He stands at 6″4, has a good first touch and is strong on the ball. He can play as a box-to-box midfielder or a holder that breaks up play. He would also provide an aerial threat at set pieces, something Cardiff will definitely look to exploit this year.
5. Daniel Amartey
A hard-working, strong midfielder eager to find his feet in the top division.
Like Andy King, Amartey has found himself behind a number of central players at Leicester and could be another one to make a move away from the King Power Stadium before the deadline next week. An international for Ghana with 22 caps, he can also play at right back.
He has only played 37 Premier League games for Leicester since joining in January 2016, the same year Leicester won the title. He featured 5 times in the 15/16 league winning season. Amartey was massively hyped as being the successor to Kante after he left for Chelsea but things haven’t quite ended up that way.
His work rate can’t be doubted, he has just lacked quality in some areas (interceptions, key passes), which is often why he has found himself on the bench.
A loan would probably do all parties some good if Cardiff are still looking for midfield competition next week.