According to Belfast Live, Cardiff City have launched a £1.5million bid for Oxford United winger Gavin Whyte, with the report claiming that Bluebirds manager Neil Warnock is keen to add more depth to his attacking ranks ahead of the upcoming campaign.
The 23-year-old Northern Ireland international’s scintillating run of form in League One this past season saw him rack up 9 goals and 7 assists in 47 appearances for Oxford United in all competitions following his move from Northern Irish heavyweights Crusaders last summer.
Whyte took England’s third-tier by storm in his debut campaign and his heroics haven’t gone unnoticed, with several Championship clubs keen to offer him a chance to take his career to the next level.
Belfast Live understands that Nottingham Forest were one of the clubs to have been credited with an interest in the 23-year-old prior to the departure of Martin O’Neill, although that seems to have cooled down considerably following the arrival of Sabri Lamouchi.
Whyte might get his coveted move to the second-tier though, with Cardiff City eager to wrap up a deal for him before the deadline (h/t Belfast Live).
Oxford United manager Karl Robinson, however, has made it clear that the winger is a key part of his plans moving forward, so the Bluebirds can expect some hardball tactics in the negotiations before the deadline. (h/t Belfast Live)
Bron in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Gavin Whyte rose through the youth ranks of Crusaders in his homeland and went on to establish himself as one of the best players in the league, accumulating a total of 44 goals and 18 assists in 134 appearances and winning the domestic title thrice over the course oh his stay at the club.
His promise and potential earned him a move to Oxford United last summer and Whyte proved that he is more than capable of carving out a reputation for himself in English football. And he might be on the move again just after a single season at the Kassam Stadium.
Meanwhile, Cardiff City have already strengthened their backline this summer with the acquisition of Aden Flint from Middlesbrough, whilst another centre-back Curtis Nelson has also arrived in South Wales on a free transfer from Oxford United.
To add to that, Warnock has also brought in Welsh international central midfielder Will Vaulks to plug the gaps in the middle of the park following the departure of Aron Gunnarsson, as well as last season’s loanees Harry Arter and Victor Camarasa to Bournemouth and Real Betis respectively.
However, Cardiff are currently a little light in their striking options after losing Kenneth Zohore to West Brom.
While the likes of Bobby Reid, Junior Hoilett, Josh Murphy, Danny Ward, Kadeem Harris and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing are all competent attackers capable of playing in multiple positions in the attacking third, Gavin Whyte could add that bit more depth and X-Factor to the club’s ranks.
It is true that there is a lot of difference in the level of quality and competition between League One and the Championship but Whyte apparently has the potential to make the step up to a higher level, having impressed in his first season at a mid-table team in the third-tier.
Even if Cardiff manage to wrap up a deal for the talented right-winger over the next couple of weeks, the Bluebirds should probably look for a natural finisher in the market to replace Zohore, who is set to feature in West Brom’s promotion surge next season.
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Cardiff, too, will be expected to challenge for promotion to the Premier League at the first time of asking when the next season gets underway and, with that in mind, Whyte might prove to be an exciting addition to their ranks.
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