Ex-Blade is surprised over move

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Ex Sheffield United and Cardiff City forward Nathan Blake has spoken of his surprise at the sale of striker Michael Chopra to Ipswich Town.

Chopra, the ex Barnsley forward, signed a three-year contract with Ipswich two weeks ago.

But Blake believes the departure, in an rumoured £1.5m deal, of one of Cardiff’s higher earners could be construed as a cost-cutting measure by the Bluebirds.

“I thought Chopra would have been critical to Cardiff’s promotion push next season,” Blake said on BBC Radio Wales.

“A little surprised, yes, but also...the flip side of that is he was one of the larger wage earners.”

Cardiff face a period of upheaval after a season that again promised so much but ended in failure with their play-off semi-final defeat to Reading. Long-serving manager Dave Jones has been sacked and the likes of players Jay Bothroyd, Chris Burke - both as free agents - Chopra and Adam Matthews have also left south Wales.

Blake said that 27-year-old Chopra’s form dipped last season but hinted there may be fitness reasons for his striker’s slump.

“I still think he looked half-decent but I didn’t think he looked as sharp as say the season before last,” he added.