Cardiff City warn Peter Whittingham suitors

Peter Whittingham
Peter Whittingham was in the 2009/10 Championship team of the year

Malky Mackay has insisted Championship high-fliers Cardiff City will not sell in-form playmaker Peter Whittingham in the January transfer window.

Former Bluebirds boss Dave Jones warned Cardiff face a fight to keep the 27-year-old after he scored in his fourth successive game draw at Coventry.

Jones revealed the Welsh club had a few "sniffs" for Whittingham from Premier League clubs last season.

But Mackay said: "I'm about building a team, I'm not about wrecking it."

Whittingham has consistently been linked with moves to Birmingham, Norwich and Nottingham Forest but committed his long-term future to Cardiff in August when he signed a three-year contract extension.

The former England Under-21 international was the 25-goal Bluebirds top-scorer when they reached the 2010 Championship play-off final and was subsequently subject of a failed bid by Nottingham Forest.

Whittingham has scored seven league goals and has created six assists this season to inspire Cardiff to third and three points behind second-placed West Ham United.

He has scored 58 goals and made 230 appearances since signing for the Welsh club from Aston Villa in January 2007 and Jones expects Whittingham to be the subject of interest of top-flight clubs in January.

"He is consistent and consistently scores from midfield," said Jones.

"I'm sure the fans will be upset with me, but if you are a Premiership manager and you are looking for a midfield player that can not only create but can score then I'm sure they'll be looking at him.

"There were one or two sniffs last year from Premiership clubs as he regularly scores goals and is in double figures each season."

Whittingham's passing, delivery and goal threat from set-pieces has always been strong.

But since being moved into the centre of midfield from the left-wing on a permanent basis by new boss Malky Mackay, he has improved his tackling and off-the-ball work-rate.

Mackay, whose side are seven games unbeaten, added: "I've been in the job two minutes and I've lost enough players in the last six months, we don't need to be losing anymore."

Cardiff defender Ben Turner, however, hopes the man dubbed 'the best crosser in the Championship' will stay at the Cardiff City Stadium.

"I think everyone knows how good Peter Whittingham is," said Turner.

"I knew he was a good player before I came here but now I'd say he's the best player I've played with by a mile. He can do anything he wants with his left foot.

"And we want him to be here."

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