By Pete O'Rourke

31st Jan, 2020 | 9:09am

Exclusive: Cardiff City open talks to sign Stoke City striker

Cardiff City are in talks with Stoke City over a loan move for striker Lee Gregory, Football Insider understands.

The Bluebirds are hoping to complete a deal for the 31-year-old before the transfer window closes on Friday evening.

A Cardiff source told Football Insider that manager Neil Harris is desperate to strengthen his forward options before the deadline passes, and has sanctioned his club to begin negotiations over a move for former charge Gregory.

Harris is a big admirer of the forward having worked with the player during their time together at Millwall, and he is keen on being reunited with him in the Welsh capital.

Cardiff have struggled for goals this season, and have managed just 41 in the Championship this term, the third lowest in the top half of the table.

Harris sees Gregory as someone who can fire the goals to boost their promotion bid in the second half of the campaign.

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The Bluebirds are currently five points outside of the the play-off places.

Gregory only joined Stoke last summer on a free transfer from Millwall, but he has registered just four goals during his time with the Potters.

The veteran hitman has made 26 appearances in all competitions this season, but he has started the last four Championship games on the bench.

For his part, Stoke boss Michael O’Neill is open to letting Gregory move on as he looks to trim his squad and wage bill at the bet365 Stadium in an effort to  raise funds for signings of his own.

In other Cardiff news, City plot raid to sign 13-goal hitman, QPR, Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton Athletic also keen.