Date: 16th May 2018 at 9:11am
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Craig Gardner could be a surprise casualty of Garry Monk’s summer rebuilding plans.

The Blues manager is hoping to shake-up the midfield and forward areas in an attempt to add a creative spark and the goals that were severely lacking from the team last season.

Blues were the joint lowest scorers in the Championship with 38 goals in 46 games. It’s no secret where the main problems lie.

Gardner’s return to St. Andrew’s in January 2017 was met with a great deal of excitement. However, it hasn’t been the roaring success that many predicted and injuries have also played their part in limiting his involvement.

The 31-year-old is one of the highest earners at the club and is contracted until June 2020. Monk is aiming to bring fresh blood to the club but must balance the books whilst doing so.

Blues were very close to breaking Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations last season and will soon learn whether they failed it and, if so, what the repercussions are.

Despite this, the club is adopting a ‘business as usual’ mentality in their quest to improve the team. It has been made clear to Monk that he doesn’t have a bottomless pit of cash and must conduct his business in an astute manner.

There is interest in Gardner both domestically and abroad and, should Blues decide the offload him, a cut-price deal may be negotiated to free up funds for wages.

David Davis signed a one-year contract extension yesterday and is firmly embedded in Monk’s plans.

Robert Tesche and Greg Stewart, who spent last season on loan at VFL Bochum and Aberdeen respectively, are likely to leave. Andy Shinnie is out of contract.

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4 Replies to “Craig Gardner could be a surprise casualty of Monk’s midfield shake-up”

  • I hate the way Gardner tries to take every set pieces even though you know it will be wasted. He hasn’t lived up to expectations and it would be no surprise if he’s released. I think Tesche may find a new lease of life under GM. One of Stewart or VSO will be released – more likely Stewart. If we do fall foul of FFP I think the likes of Odin Bailey and Ronan Hale could be given their chance. As they say ‘Every cloud has a silver lining’.

  • Absolutely sickened by this continual threat of FFB.Does anybody question Villa or Wolves ? No. Is it just me who can relate to what’s going on.Pathetic if it is. Just recall what Mr.Whenquig did last January and his intervention plus the Cotterill replacement etc.- then you get the picture. Villa and Wolves to name but two do not report such possible threats hanging over them and their outlay etc far outweighs our modest purchases.

    • Completely agree Brooklyn, there are many more clubs than us that are closer to breaching the dreaded FFP.
      I feel it’s just scaremongering in regards to Blues, yes, we probably are close, but I think with the expensive loans now gone and a few of the higher paid players shipped out, plus the likelihood of a cash injection from Butland and Grays sales by their clubs, then I think we’ll, not only be ok with FFP, but see a few descent players arrive as well .
      Trust in Monk, like I do, we’ll be fine.
      K R O

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