AFC Wimbledon manager Neal Ardley is reluctant to enter into a risky transfer pursuit to sign Deji Oshilaja but admits he would love to sign the Cardiff City defender.
The 22-year-old centre-back impressed while on loan at Kingsmeadow last season and Ardley is a huge fan of the Bluebirds youngster.
Oshilaja is set to report back to the Welsh side for pre-season training before Russell Slade makes a decision over the Bermondsey boy’s future.
Ardley needs defensive recruits following the departures of Alan Bennett and Adam Barrett last term and his decision not to offer a contract to Jake Goodman following his release by Millwall.
The Dons boss would have no hesitation in going for Oshilaja but isn’t certain the chance to sign the Cardiff man will materialise.
He said: “Deji is always going to be a difficult one because he’s reporting back to Cardiff for pre-season.
In pictures: Deji Oshilaja suffers horror fall against Oxford
“I don’t think Cardiff will make a decision on Deji until the end of pre-season.
“It then almost becomes a game. Do you want to wait until right before the start of the season to see if you get him but then risk not having enough centre-halves?
“There might be other clubs anyway and he’s an ambitious boy. You have to go about your business and if Deji did become an option then he’s a quality player and we’d love to have him here.
“My first choices will be experienced players but the qualities Deji showed have made us think that he could be a massive asset to us.
“I can’t see it happening though and that’s my honest answer.”
Oshilaja made 23 appearances for Wimbledon after signing in January and netted once in a 2-1 victory over York City in early March.