After an all talk, no action summer in the transfer market, the imminent signing of John Brayford is a great relief, for a number of reasons.
Firstly, it strengthens a weak position. With only Kevin McNaughton and Matthew Connolly as options at right back, an injection of quality was a pressing concern. Also, after being linked with eye-watering sums of money for various players all over Europe, Brayford is a relative bargain at around £1.3m.
One of The Championship’s most impressive and consistent performers, his enticing asking price was largely due to his Derby contract expiring next summer.
Despite an agreement regarding the Langston debt and Vincent Tan’s promise to convert his loans to equity, I am far more comfortable with Cardiff doing business at this end of the market.
For a first season in the Premier League, I think a club should build sensibly and within their means.
Malky might have a healthy transfer budget, but wages are already through the roof and the club are a long way from becoming sustainable.
Gallery: Cardiff City’s (more expensive) summer transfer targets so far…
Fortunately, there are a wealth of appealing options throughout the Premier League and Championship at present.
Having missed out on Tom Ince, Matej Vydra would be a more than adequate alternative.
Though not technically based in the top two flights of English football, the 21-year-old Udinese forward rose to prominence at Watford last year, scoring 20 goals on loan, pipping Ince to the Championship Player of the Year award in the process.
Adept in a variety of attacking positions, his versatility is an attractive attribute and should his parent club receive a suitable fee, he is once again available on loan for what would be a largely low risk arrangement.
Swansea, West Ham, Sunderland and West Brom have all been linked with a try before you buy transaction, but he remains up for grabs and with Malky’s Watford connections, it is a surprise that he has not pursued this option thus far.
The left-sided equivalent of John Brayford, Cresswell was an ever-present for Ipswich last season.
A target for Aston Villa last summer, the 23-year-old is a swashbuckling full back that would provide stiff competition for Andrew Taylor.
Contracted for a further two years, he would cost at least twice what Cardiff paid for Brayford, but would still represent value for money.
It’s a very long time since City boasted a genuine attacking threat from their full backs.
Brayford will show Cardiff fans what they have been missing and Cresswell would add balance and could offer a similar outlet on the opposite flank.
With Taylor suspended for the trip to West Ham, the acquisition of a Cresswell calibre left back would see him struggle to retain his place.
With offers lodged for Victor Wanyama and Etienne Capoue, Cardiff are clearly in the market for someone to shield the defence and provide drive from midfield.
Look no further than Liam Bridcutt. If he is still at Brighton when the transfer window closes, then scouts up and down the country should hang their heads in shame.
Comfortable in possession and difficult to dispossess with an eye for a pass, the diminutive Chelsea product would cost a fraction of the sums earmarked by the club for this role.
He would also surely jump at the opportunity, while higher profile targets drag their heels and wait for more attractive offers.
It’s been a long time since Darren Bent could be considered as a Moneyball signing, joining Spurs and Sunderland for £16.5m before a £24m switch to Aston Villa.
The 29-year-old England international has more than a century of goals in the top flight and has been treated dreadfully by Paul Lambert. Frozen out of the first team, he also appears to be short of options, despite a meagre £5m asking price.
His £65,000-a-week wages are prohibitive, but he may be forced to take a pay cut to engineer an escape.
Cardiff have fitness concerns regarding the knees of Craig Bellamy, Fraizer Campbell and Nicky Maynard, while record signing Andreas Cornelius will need time to adapt to the speed and physicality of English football.
Bent would be ready to go and is pretty much guaranteed to score goals.
The entire Wigan midfield
Take your pick; James McCarthy, Shaun Maloney, James McArthur and Callum McManaman, surely the best midfield ever relegated from the top flight.
Wigan had their fair share of deficiencies last season, but their FA Cup winning midfield performed admirably.
You would imagine that most of this quartet would be out of Cardiff’s league and price range, but they remain Championship players with only a week remaining before the season starts.
McCarthy is the pick of the bunch, a player worthy of gracing any midfield in the land, while the lack of interest in McManaman is due to an ankle ligament injury sustained at the end of last season.
Shaun Maloney was a revelation last season, but is now 30 and his age may be a deterrent for clubs, while McArthur is the type of physical midfielder that Malky is pursuing. How much for the lot?
Who do you think Cardiff City should aim for? Have your say in the comments box below or on our Cardiff City Facebook page.