Cardiff City snap up Watford midfielder Don Cowie

Don Cowie

Midfielder Don Cowie has signed a three-year contract with Cardiff

Cardiff City have signed Don Cowie after the Watford and Scotland midfielder became a free agent.

Cowie, 28, joined the Hornets from Inverness Caledonian Thistle in January 2009 for a nominal fee, signing a two-and-half-year contract.

The Ross County youth product made 39 appearances for Watford last season, scoring four goals, and follows manager Malky Mackay to Cardiff.

Cowie arrives at the Cardiff City Stadium on a three-year deal.

Mackay left Watford to take over Cardiff in June, replacing Dave Jones who was sacked after the Bluebirds' failure in the Championship play-offs.

Cowie said that the option of continuing to play under Mackay was too hard to resist.

"I was away on holiday in Florida when I heard that Malky had been appointed as the new Cardiff manager," Cowie told the Cardiff City website.

"I was obviously disappointed at that stage to hear that he'd be leaving Watford, but I'm absolutely delighted to now be joining him again at Cardiff City.

"I had two years at Watford working under Malky so I obviously know very well what he's about. He made my time working at Watford very enjoyable so I'm looking forward now to getting started again.

"This is a new challenge for me and I'm really looking forward to it. Hopefully I can be part of something very special here at Cardiff City."

Don Cowie becomes the fifth person to have joined Cardiff from Watford this summer... let's hope it stops here

Watford chairman Graham Taylor

On Thursday Mackay appointed three former Watford colleagues to his backroom staff, with David Kerslake, Richard Collinge and Joe McBride all quitting Vicarage Road.

The signing of Cowie, who has won three Scotland caps, the following day has prompted a frustrated response from Watford chairman Graham Taylor.

"Our manager made a decision to leave this football club," Taylor told the Watford website  .

"Speaking on behalf of the owner and the board of Watford FC, we are both surprised and disappointed to learn of Cardiff City's continued advances for this football club's personnel.

"Don Cowie becomes the fifth person to have joined Cardiff City from Watford this summer - when we add Malky to three members of staff and now a very talented player.

"Let's hope it stops here."

Taylor revealed that Watford had tried to persuade Cowie to re-sign with them.

"The club has been engaged in the process of negotiating with Don Cowie's representative for some months now," Taylor added.

"A clause in his contract meant we guaranteed to offer the player a further year with us once our Championship status was secured.

"A deal could not be struck, however, and this is clearly a big part of the problem when a manager leaves. He takes all the detailed player contract knowledge with him."