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Cardiff City Opinion: Curtis Nelson could add a little bit more depth to the Bluebirds’ backline

According to Wales Online, Cardiff City are closing in on a deal for Oxford United centre-back Curtis Nelson, with reports claiming that Sunderland are also keen on securing the services of the 26-year-old central defender.

Nelson, who is out of contract at the Kassam Stadium this summer, has refused to sign a new deal with his current club and Oxford manager Karl Robinson has admitted that the 26-year-old is about to depart Home Park on a free transfer (h/t Wales Online).

Jack Ross’ Sunderland are also in the market for Nelson but it is understood that the 26-year-old is keen to test his credentials in the Championship next term after spending three seasons in League One. (h/t Wales Online)

The Black Cats missed out on promotion to the second tier following their defeat at the hands of Charlton Athletic in the playoff finals, and Cardiff City, who recently got relegated from the Premier League, is believed to be the front runners in the race to sign the centre-back.

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Nelson made a total of 55 appearances and scored 4 goals for Oxford United in all competitions this past season, as Karl Robinson’s side finished mid-table in the third-tier.

A youth product of Stoke City, Nelson plied his trade with Plymouth Argyle for six seasons in League One and League Two before making a move to Home Park back in 2016.

The 26-year-old has been one of the mainstays of Oxford’s backline in League One over the course of the past three campaigns, scoring 8 goals and registering a total of 121 appearances in all competitions. Nelson has shown strong signs of promise in the third-tier for a mid-table outfit, and at 26, the time might just be right for him to take the next big step in his career.

To put things into perspective, Cardiff City are set for a long and hard slog in the Championship next term and the Bluebirds are likely to bring in a few fresh faces this summer, whilst anticipating the departure of some high-profile players following their relegation from the top-tier.

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To be honest, Cardiff didn’t spend too much in the Premier League last season. Neil Warnock already has quite a lot of Championship experience in all areas of his squad, but bringing in some standout performers from League One could prove to be a gamble worth taking for the club.

Curtis Nelson hasn’t played in the Championship before his exploits for Oxford should prompt the Bluebirds to make a move for him.

Bruno Manga is out of contract towards the end of the month and it is still unclear whether he will be at the Cardiff City Stadium next season, whilst Sol Bamba is already 34.

Sean Morrison and Matthew Connolly are both experienced centre-backs at the Championship level but someone like Nelson could add a little bit more depth in a key area of the pitch for Warnock.

Long-standing midfielder Aron Gunnarsson and Real Betis loanee Victor Camarasa have already departed the club, and while Nelson’s links hardly has anything to do with those departures, it is a no-brainer that Cardiff do need to bring in some reinforcements.

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Cardiff will be looking to secure promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking and the acquisition of Curtis Nelson as a free transfer could just be the perfect start to the summer for the Bluebirds.

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