Cardiff and Swansea optimistic players out of contract in June will end season

Media playback is not supported on this device

Joe Rodon: No interest in Wales defender says Swansea boss

Cardiff City and Swansea City are optimistic players whose contracts expire this summer will play through to the end of the extended season.

The Championship is looking to resume in June and finish by the end of July.

However, players whose deals run out this summer are only contracted until 30 June.

Players could play on as part of their severance terms or agree to short-term extensions to take them to the end of the current season.

Cardiff manager Neil Harris is "confident" striker Danny Ward and Wales defender Jazz Richards will be available.

And Swans head coach Steve Cooper is hopeful he will have all players at his disposal. "I hope so, that is the absolute intention," he said.

On Thursday, Welsh government gave the green light to return to training next week after testing which has taken place over the last couple of days.

Though there is no specific date set for a return to action, a June 20 resumption has been mentioned.

Cardiff are ninth, just two points off play-offs with Swansea three points away from the top six in 11th.

With nine regular league games still to play and the possibility of three play-off matches both clubs will need all their resources, bringing the contract situation into sharp focus.

Cardiff boss Harris said: "We know the rules and regulations now which are important. Players can play into July in agreement between the player and the club. That is the first step.

"Our loan players are contracted to us until the ‪June 30‬ but we also know they can be extended into July with the agreement of the player and the club.

" I am confident all our players will be available. We have four senior players out of contract . Omar Bogle and Matt Connolly won't train with us when we come back.

"Omar is contracted to play in Holland and Matt Connolly is not fit so won't come back into training with us.

"The other two lads, Danny Ward and Jazz Richards, have been pivotal in my time in charge. They are really good lads are desperate to play and do well for the club."

Cardiff City's Danny Ward tussles with Swansea's Ben Wilmot
Cardiff City's Danny Ward tussles with Swansea's Ben Wilmot

Harris said discussions over contract renewals are on hold while football is "resetting" in the wake of the financial impact of the Covid-19 virus pandemic, though talks with Ward and Richards would take place in the coming weeks.

"But the focus in the short term for them and for us will be to get playing again," said Harris.

"Do I hope and expect them to make themselves available to play? Yes I do, because they are great lads and great characters.

"If there is any uncertainty around them staying here or where they are going to play, then I think they are two players who will want to play football, want to train and prove their worth to the club."

Cardiff also have Wolves full back Dion Sanderson, Nottingham Forest winger Albert Adomah and Bournemouth's Australian international defender Brad Smith on loan.

Swansea have a clutch of first team players whose contracts expire this summer - Nathan Dyer, Wayne Routledge, Mike Van der Hoorn, Courtney Baker-Richardson, Kyle Naughton, Jefferson Montero and goalkeeper Erwin Mulder.

Van der Hoorn will not return to training on Monday as he is currently recovering from knee surgery. But head coach Cooper - like Harris at Cardiff - has been in close communication with those affected.

Cooper said: "What we have been with the boys out of contract is up front with them.

"We have held video conferences with just those players and talked about the situation and the club's approach to it.

"We have allowed them to have a view of course, its an individual thing as well. I have spoken to them individually.

"It's a complicated and tough situation of course but until we know - and hopefully its just around the corner - when the league will recommence, we can't really commit to too much."

Swansea have six loan players on their books - Newcastle goalkeeper Freddie Woodman, Chelsea duo Marc Guehi and Connor Gallagher, Liverpool striker Rhian Brewster, Watford defender Ben Wilmot and Basel's Aldo Kalulu.