Former Leeds United captain Sol Bamba is back in the Championship after joining Cardiff City.
Bamba has agreed an 18-month deal with Cardiff just days after ex-Leeds manager Neil Warnock took charge as the club’s new boss.
Warnock replaced the sacked Paul Trollope this week and has moved quickly to sign Bamba and former QPR winger Junior Hoilett with Cardiff lodged in the Championship’s relegation zone.
Bamba and Hoilett are free agents, allowing them to sign for clubs outside the transfer window, and Bamba’s arrival at Cardiff comes a month after he and United parted company.
The 31-year-old was Leeds’ captain at the time but he and the Elland Road club mutually agreed to sever a contract which ran until 2017.
Bamba was out of favour after slipping to fourth in the order of centre-backs under head coach Garry Monk.
The Ivory Coast international - a permanent signing from Palermo last summer - played 56 times for Leeds.
Derby County were set to hand him a deal last month and Bamba trained with the Rams for a week but the recent suspension of Derby manager Nigel Pearson scuppered his chances of a move.
Warnock, however, has finalised terms with the defender and the transfer should be announced in the next 24 hours. Bamba’s deal includes the option of a further year.
City turned to Warnock following the dismissal of Trollope after only 12 games in charge. One of those matches ended in a comprehensive 2-0 defeat to Leeds at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Bamba will make a return to Elland Road when United and Cardiff meet in February.
Speaking about his departure from Leeds, Bamba told the YEP: “I’m much closer to the end of my career than the start of it so the worst thing for me would be to sit around at a club thinking I’m going to play when the manager has no intention of playing me. I’ve no problem with Garry at all and I respect him for being open about it.
“Let’s be fair, if I’m not going to play then it’s better for me to leave. I’m not into sitting about just because I’ve got a contract. Some managers would leave you doing nothing without an explanation but he’s a really good guy. There was no personal issue between us, none at all.”
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