Lee Tomlin: Cardiff City sign Bristol City playmaker on three-year deal

Lee Tomlin takes on Stephen Warnock of Wigan Athletic in March, 2017
Lee Tomlin has also played for Rushden & Diamonds, Peterborough, Middlesbrough and Bournemouth

Cardiff City have signed attacking midfielder Lee Tomlin from Championship rivals Bristol City for an undisclosed fee on a three-year deal.

BBC Radio Bristol reports that the fee for Tomlin, who scored seven times last season, could rise to £2.9 million.

Bluebirds boss Neil Warnock described Tomlin, 28, as his "number one" target.

"If I had a choice of any other player I've been after over the summer, Tomlin would have been at the top of my list," Warnock told BBC Radio Wales.

He also confirmed Cardiff have turned down bids for striker Kenneth Zohore and defender Sean Morrison.

Warnock had hoped to bring in Republic of Ireland winder Jonny Hayes, who instead joined Celtic on a three-year deal from Aberdeen.

Tomlin's move to the Bluebirds came despite Bristol City head coach Lee Johnson recently saying the former Middlesbrough and Bournemouth player was still part of his plans.

"It's funny how things work. You think you've lost a player and you're disappointed," Warnock added.

"And out of the blue your number one target becomes available. That's fate at times and let's hope they've played us a good hand.

"Although Jonny Hayes was top of my list, he was more of a wide player. This player (Tomlin) specialises in that middle area, creating something for our wide players and strikers.

"I've been looking at certain areas and certain players because we need goals. We're a difficult side to play against, but you still need a player who can unlock the door and get the you the three points.

"He was top of my list at one stage. But I didn't think we'd be able to get him from Bristol City at the time.

"We were going to have to pay a substantial loan fee for him. But in the end I don't think Bristol City fancied that idea, so Mehmet (Dalman) decided to go in and buy him."

'We won't be signing any other players'

Tomlin is the seventh player Cardiff have signed this summer and Warnock expects him to be the last.

He said: "We won't be signing any other players, although you never know in football. We might get an offer we can't turn down and we have to replace him, or a player becomes available."

Warnock says club owner Vincent Tan, chairman Mehmet Dalman and chief executive Ken Choo have been "so supportive" in the off-season.

"It's not been easy. I'll be glad when the games start and we get back to normality," he continued.

Zohore was Cardiff's top scorer in 2016-17 with 12 goals, and the 23-year-old striker has been the subject of a bid from Hull City.

"I can't tell you a specific account but if they bid £15m to £20m, I'll think about it. But I don't think anyone in the Championship would bid that," Warnock said.

Morrison has been heavily linked with Sheffield Wednesday, but Warnock has made it clear he wants his captain to stay.

"I'm not permitted to say who the clubs (who have made a bid) are," he added. "The offers keep going up for Sean.

"I've kept him informed of the situation and hopefully over the next week or two we can put that to bed.

"But you never know in football. Clubs keep on improving offers, and at some stage you have to be realistic."

Find all the latest football transfers on our dedicated page.

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