Cardiff City boss Neil Harris has admitted he would like to offload one of his three senior goalkeepers by the end of the January transfer window.
Harris was speaking after his side’s South Wales derby clash with Swansea over the weekend, during which he dropped regular goalkeeper Neil Etheridge from the side amid transfer speculation linking him with a transfer move away from the club.
This saw Alex Smithies make his 12th Bluebirds appearance between the sticks since his summer move from QPR, and the 29-year-old kept a clean sheet as his side were held to a goalless draw by their bitter rivals at the Cardiff City Stadium.
It has recently emerged that West Ham have submitted a £7million bid to try and lure Etheridge to the London Stadium, with this potential switch leaving Smithies and fellow summer signing Joe Day as Harris’ two senior goalkeepers at the club.
The Bluebirds boss has now admitted he would ideally like to see one of his three stoppers leave the club by the end of the window as he attempts to streamline his squad, while he also claimed his side would be reactive as they progress through the month.
“The transfer window is as exciting as ever with lots of rumours and lots of press. We just have to be reactive as we go along,” Harris said to Sky Sports (12/01, 14:50).
“Ideally, by February we wouldn’t have three senior goalkeepers. So we’ll have to see what unfolds.”
Etheridge has started the majority of Cardiff’s Championship matches so far this campaign, but Smithies has also made his fair share of appearances after establishing himself in the side during Etheridge’s injury absence earlier in the season.
Can you score maximum points in this Cardiff quiz? Have a go now!
It comes as no surprise to see that Harris is offloading one of his goalkeepers this month, as all three of them are at a stage in their career where they will want to playing regular football, and the Cardiff boss cannot offer this to all of them at their current club.
Etheridge seems like the man closest to an exit give Harris took the decision to leave him out of the side for the Swansea match, but it remains to be seen whether Harris envisages the former Walsall man as someone he feels he can let go this month.
The fact Cardiff have Smithies ready to perform means it would ultimately be a good deal if they can offload Etheridge for a significant fee, while this would also free up finances on the wage bill for further additions this month.