This transfer window looks set to be a busy one for many clubs and two sides who will certainly want to get the ball rolling in terms of dealings are Cardiff and Preston.
Both teams have had fresh managers appointed this season, both of who will want to put their own mark on the team and give their respective squads a refresh if given a chance.
These two teams could also end up doing transfer business with each other as well, with North End potentially seeing up to 14 players out of contract and leaving the club unless they agree fresh terms.
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One name who may be on his way out of Deepdale – after five years of service and over 150 games for the club – is Tom Barkhuizen. The 28-year-old has been a mainstay in the PNE first-team when fit and has slowly become a reliable name in the side.
However, this year has seen him struggle with injuries and then when he has been able to play a part, he just hasn’t been able to fit into the system. Under Frankie McAvoy he fared slightly better but with Ryan Lowe at the helm, there may not be room for him in the team.
Barkhuizen tends to fare best as a striker or winger but has been utilised as a wing-back too. However, Lowe used him there but has favoured Brad Potts and with the club not using wingers and not utilising him upfront either – preferring Emil Riis, Cameron Archer, Ched Evans and even Sean Maguire – it has left him on the sidelines.
With a free transfer possible this summer then, perhaps Cardiff should consider making a swoop for him.
He could certainly fit into the team – the Bluebirds have added strikers to their club as it was a position of need but both of their winter window signings in Jordan Hugill and Uche Ikpeazu only joined on a short-term basis. Both will be returning to their parent clubs and it may need them to search for fresh attacking options this summer, with neither guaranteed to go back to the Welsh club.
Cardiff have also readily utilised wing-backs and Cody Drameh is another who has played on that right flank but may return to his parent club. It means there are plenty of gaps that Barkhuizen could fill and, when he is fit, he possesses plenty of pace and attacking verve and does have a good finishing touch on his day.
Considering his level of experience and also the fact he might be available for absolutely nothing, then it could be worth the club having a look at signing him this summer. If they do land him and can keep him fit, then it could be a real steal for the Bluebirds.