U's loanee Barker is released by Cardiff

CHRIS Barker, who spent last season on loan at Colchester United, has been placed on the transfer list by Cardiff City.Left-back Barker still has a year to run on his contract at Ninian Park, but he is not in the plans of Bluebirds manager Dave Jones.

By Carl Marston

CHRIS Barker, who spent last season on loan at Colchester United, has been placed on the transfer list by Cardiff City.

Left-back Barker still has a year to run on his contract at Ninian Park, but he is not in the plans of Bluebirds manager Dave Jones. Nor, for that matter, are a whole host of other players who were on the Cardiff staff last season.

Jones has released 12 players who were out of contract, including veteran striker Kevin Campbell, and put three more on the transfer list in the shape of Barker, Scottish international striker Steve Thompson and midfielder Kevin Cooper.

U's manager Geraint Williams would certainly like to sign Barker for next season, as indeed he would his other long-term loanee, Hogan Ephraim from West Ham.

Williams revealed last night: “We tried to sign Chris (Barker) on a permanent contract during the transfer window in January, and we will be trying to do the same this summer.

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“Chris was a key member of the squad, as was Hogan (Ephraim). I would like to have both back for next season.”

Barker arrived at Layer Road in mid-August and went on to start 38 league games, only missing a handful due to suspension (two red cards) and ineligibility (the two games against his parent club Cardiff).

The 27-year-old will not be able to feature in the first three fixtures of next season, wherever he ends up, due to being sent off in the penultimate game at Stoke City.

Meanwhile, Williams was unlucky to be pipped to the Championship's Manager of the Year award by Roy Keane, who guided Sunderland to the title. The award was presented at the League Managers Association's dinner in Nottingham.

Williams admitted: “Roy (Keane) actually got my vote, so there was no tactical voting!”

The U's, who finished 10th in their first-ever season in the Championship, are the only team to have beaten Sunderland (3-1) in 2007.

Meanwhile, former U's stars Thomas Pinault and Joe Keith were yesterday released by Brentford manager Terry Butcher.

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