Date: 6th June 2010 at 5:21pm
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Reading and Cardiff are said to be tracking Stoke’s veteran defender, Andy Griffin.

Griff’s career at the Brit has been on the rocks since the match at West Ham eighteen months ago when he had a ‘disagreement’ with Ricardo Fuller which ended up with Fuller being sent off.

He then lost the captain’s armband at the start of last season and with no league starts at Stoke moved on loan to the Royals where he seems to have rediscovered his form amid Reading’s improvement on the pitch which saw them rise up the Championship table during the second half of the season.

Despite Griffin’s desire to remain within easy commuting distance of his home in Barlaston, he seems to have come to terms with a move if it means he can hold down a place in a starting eleven.

The Royals have made no secret of their keenness to hold on to the 31 year old, who has a wealth of experience playing at the top flight of English football – including seven seasons at Newcastle after leaving the Potters in 1997.

Their assistant manager, Nigel Gibbs confirmed their interest this week: ‘We’ve always got lists of different players we’re interested in. But we have thrown our hat into the ring with Andy Griffin and it’s no secret how much we want him.

‘We will react to the situation regarding him for now rather than being proactive. Andy was a great signing when we brought him on loan in January. He was one of the most reliable players we had. His positional awareness was fantastic and I remember when I went to see him play for Stoke reserves writing exactly that in my notes.

‘But we had a lot of good references on Andy from other people. He is a total professional and his experience was vital for the group.’

Now that Cardiff City has entered the bidding it remains to be seen where he ends up. Reading are reluctant to pay Stoke a transfer fee with finances very tight down at the Madejski Stadium, but are said to have offered us some cash should they get promoted, whereas the Bluebirds seem to be in a stronger financial position now that they have some new backers after their well publicised problems with the tax man earlier this year.