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Bulut signs two-year deal to stay at Cardiff

Erol Bulut on the touchline during the 2023-24 season
Erol Bulut had never managed outside his native Turkey before taking over at Cardiff City [Getty Images]

Erol Bulut has signed a two-year deal to remain as Cardiff City manager, a month after their 2023-24 Championship season ended.

Bulut's previous contract had been set to expire this summer after he took charge at Cardiff on a one-year agreement in June 2023.

His new contract runs until the end of the 2025-26 season.

He has been discussing a new deal with the Welsh club since owner Vincent Tan sanctioned the negotiations in late April.

Despite speculation linking him with a number of other jobs, the 49-year-old will remain at Cardiff.

“I’m very proud and happy to be extending my time with you all here in the capital city of Wales," Bulut said in a club statement.

“It is a privilege to be part of your family.”

Bulut's new deal is reward for the progress the Bluebirds made during 2023-24.

After relegation battles in each of the previous two campaigns, the Bluebirds finished 12th in Bulut's first year in charge.

The former Fenerbahce boss is a popular figure among Cardiff's fans, even if his style of play was criticised at times during his first year at the helm.

Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman had been keen for Bulut to remain in charge, with Tan - who has the final say - giving his backing to the idea shortly before the regular Championship season came to an end.

Bulut's successes were achieved despite the fact that the club were only able to sign players on loan or free transfers in last summer's transfer window because of an EFL embargo.

In January 2024, Bulut had limited funds at his disposal because of profit and sustainability rules.

Bulut said on numerous occasions during his debut season in English football that he would be interested in signing a new deal.

It is believed he was looking for assurances over the club's future plans both on and off the field during the contract negotiations.

The length of the deal on offer had also been suggested as a reason for the delay in reaching an agreement.

Erol Bulut applauds Cardiff's fans
Erol Bulut claimed some notable wins during 2023-24, including a south Wales derby success against Swansea City last September [Getty Images]

Dalman spearheaded the recruitment of Bulut last year and wanted to ensure Cardiff enjoyed some continuity and stability by giving him a new deal.

Bulut said in April that the target when he was appointed was to avoid relegation and that he had been told Tan was "happy" with the club's progress.

The former Turkey Under-21s international had not coached outside his homeland before joining Cardiff.

Tan said: “What was clear under Erol’s management last season was that we were making progress and showing improvement.

"I believe he has laid some strong foundations on which he will build.

“I wish Erol, his staff and squad the very best of luck ahead of the new season. They have my full support and good wishes.”

Bulut started his coaching career at Yeni Malatyaspor before taking over at fellow Super Lig club Alanyaspor and then switching to Fenerbahce in 2020. He left that job in March 2021 with his team third in the Turkish top flight.

Bulut then had a stint at Gaziantep, where he was in charge for 18 months, but left after a disappointing run of results in January 2023.