By Gareth James
It will be business as usual for Cardiff City as they look to use loans and free transfers to bolster their squad in this month’s transfer window.
Manager Mark Hudson has confirmed that the lifting of the Football League’s transfer embargo is only partial and the club can only deal in loans and free transfers.
As it stands, it will be another two transfer windows before Cardiff can pay fees for players, although they remain in talks over lifting that part of the restriction.
It means although the embargo – imposed when Cardiff refused to pay the first part of the Emiliano Sala transfer fee to Nantes – has been lifted, Hudson is shopping with an empty wallet.
That may not be such a restriction as it sounds, however, as Cardiff have been looking for bargains for some time now. Of the 17 players they signed last summer, only three – Kion Etete, Ollie Tanner and Callum Robinson – involved paying hard cash.
The rest were freebies and loan deals arranged with other clubs.
Ahead of their home game against Wigan on Saturday, Hudson confirmed he was only able to sign players on free transfer or loan deals.
“It’s a relief, gives people a lift,” said Hudson.
Cardiff City making offers when the embargo’s lifted pic.twitter.com/6GqIbO1Fbj
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“We can look forward to what we can look at target-wise and see if we can strengthen.
“We have got targets. I’m not going to talk about players at clubs as I don’t think it’s fair on them.
“If there is availability and it strengthens us and brings good characters into the building, then we’ll try to explore that.”
Asked if signing a striker was a priority, Hudson said: “That’s obviously something that’s been well-published. We know we need goal threat.
“We did really well against Leeds [in last Sunday’s 2-2 FA Cup draw]. We’ll continue with that and try to make players better and try to hurt the opposition.
“If there’s someone out there we think can come and score goals for us, then we’ll have a look at it.”
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Striker Robinson is a major doubt for Saturday’s Championship game after a bout of tonsillitis and flu which has seen the Republic of Ireland international lose 6kgs in weight.
The lifting of the embargo will also allow Cardiff to recall defender Mark McGuinness from his loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday.
“We’re just waiting on a technicality with FIFA for the moment, so that hasn’t come through yet as of yet,” Hudson said. “We’re still waiting on an update but he is back with us, training.
“The club have worked extremely hard to pay the instalment and I think there’s a period of time where then FIFA will lift theirs and obviously then, that would go hand in hand with Macca’s (McGuinness) situation.”