Mick McCarthy has been handed a huge boost in his bid to bring Jonson Clarke-Harris to Cardiff City this summer.
In a recent interview with This Is Futbol, Peterborough United’s director of football Barry Fry revealed that his club will simply not be able to afford to keep the 26-year-old centre-forward at London Road this summer, as they cannot match the potential contract offers of interested Championship suitors such as Cardiff City.
The 76-year-old said: “Without divulging, the player’s not on a fortune. At our level, you don’t get a fortune and at Peterborough, you don’t get a fortune.
“Throughout the last 25 years, we’ve put players in there, we’ve developed players, and the owners have put so much in, and it’s my job to sell a player to offset the losses. We’ve done that very, very successfully – over the last 15 years in particular.
“How we attract players in, we say ‘look, you’re not going to become millionaires with us, we’re little Peterborough United, but what we will do is give you a stage and if you perform, then people will buy you off us and they’ll give you lucrative contracts.'”
The news that Clarke-Harris looks rather certain to leave Peterborough this summer is likely to leave many Cardiff fans buzzing, as the striker -whom Posh value at around £8m – has proven this season that he is a goalscorer of the highest calibre.
Over his 45 League One appearances for Darren Ferguson’s side, the £225,000-rated predator scored a whopping 31 goals, registered three assists and created 11 big chances for his teammates. That’s in addition to averaging one key pass and hitting the target with 1.3 shots per game, culminating in a seasonal SofaScore match rating of 7.24 – ranking him as the club’s second-best performer in 2020/21.
As such, Clarke-Harris appears to be following the footsteps of former Peterborough United hitman Ivan Toney, who bagged 24 goals and provided five assists over his 32 League One appearances for Posh in their 2019/20 campaign before securing a £5.04m move to Championship side Brentford.
Toney has actually improved on his returns from that campaign, scoring 31 goals and registering 10 assists over his 45 Championship fixtures in the season just gone, and he is now one step away from securing Premier League football with the Bees after firing Thomas Frank’s side to the play-off final.
As such, if Clarke-Harris can indeed replicate the form of Toney following a potential move to Cardiff, the Bluebirds’ chances of securing a play-off spot next season could receive a huge shot in the arm, leading us to believe that McCarthy should be doing all he can to get a deal over the line this summer for the man who Ferguson dubbed a “leader“.