Striker Robbie Fowler is set for a return to the Premier League after Cardiff announced he is joining Blackburn Rovers.
The 33-year-old former England forward was expected to sign a new one-year deal at Cardiff but told the club he would be joining Rovers.
A statement on Cardiff’s website said: “Late on Thursday Robbie informed us that he has been offered the opportunity to join Blackburn Rovers.
“We fully understand the lure of the Premier League was a major factor in his decision and we wish Robbie well in the future at his new club.”
Fowler joined Cardiff last year after being released by Liverpool and scored six goals in 16 games for the Bluebirds. But he has not played since mid-December because of a hip injury that required surgery.
City chairman Peter Ridsdale insisted the release of Fowler would free up funds for other strikers to move to Ninian Park.
“We signed him last year with a year’s option, but at this stage in his career it’s understandable that he accepts an offer to go to the Premiership,” he told BBC Radio Wales.
“We have to thank Robbie and move on, he goes with our best wishes.
“His image rights were important to us last year, but now we’re looking at what he could do on the field.
“Robbie’s move frees up budget for us to look for another striker.”
The move will reunite Fowler with new Blackburn manager Paul Ince – an old friend since their time at Anfield.
Fowler, who joins Rovers on their pre-season tour to Germany, made his Liverpool debut in 1993, scoring 171 goals in 330 games before joining Leeds for 11 million pounds in 2001 and Manchester City for 6 million pounds in 2003.
He returned for a second spell at Anfield in January 2006, although his starting appearances were limited.
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