Blackburn Rovers have money to spend


Blackburn boss Steve Kean does not expect any further departures from Ewood Park before the start of the season and is confident of bringing in a number of new faces.

Rovers have sold Phil Jones to north-west neighbours Manchester United, while fellow defender Chris Samba’s future has been the subject of speculation.

However, Kean underlined his priority is to keep a squad together that avoided relegation on a tense final day of last season while adding some much-needed bodies, disputing recent reports that inactivity in the transfer market was due to a lack of funds.

“Phil’s moved on, that was a difficult thing because he’d only played a small amount of games for us,” he said, “but we appreciated he wanted to go and play Champions League football now and we’re not at that stage yet.

“Hopefully we will be in the next three or four years but we appreciate he’s moved on and we’ll fight hard to keep everyone at the club.

Blackburn manager Steve Kean
Blackburn manager Steve Kean

“Chris Samba is only a few months into a new five-year contract, we haven’t had any bids and hopefully we don’t get any.

“We’ve got three or four active bids that are actually out there and we’re just waiting for confirmation those bids have been accepted.

“There’s two or three that are quite far down the line, so we’re confident we’ll have bodies in and we’ll be adding to the squad and if we can fight off interest that you’re always going to get for your players, then we’re confident we can have a very good season.

“We’ll be spending. We’ve got a very good budget and we’re looking to strengthen in areas that we need to improve on from last season.

“We don’t have to sell before we buy because we’re trying to keep the majority of the squad together. It is a fixed budget, it’s competitive and will bring in players of good quality.”

Kean’s main priority is a striker, although he is keen to add another midfielder and centre-back.

The Scot denied it was proving especially difficult to persuade players to come to Blackburn.

“If a player’s coming from a club that’s playing European football, then I think it’s going to be difficult to attract them. If we can take them from different areas of the world and show them what we’re trying to do, then I don’t think it’s a hard sell,” he added.

Kean has targeted a top-half finish for a side that barely retained their Premier League status but the Scot believes the experience of last term will stand Blackburn in good stead.

“We’re going to be stronger from coming through the experience of a tough period last season, towards the end we delivered and we’ll be all the better for that,” he said.

“From our point of view, we got seven good results out of the last nine and were four unbeaten at the end of the season so to try and continue that positivity straight into day one of pre-season was what we were aiming to do and I think that’s been achieved.”

Rovers skipper Ryan Nelsen agreed. “We’ve got a lot of young players and I think you need a nice bend. The trials of tribulations of last season, to get out the back of it, it hardened the young players,” he said.

“You can’t buy that sort of experience. They will be different players coming into the season.”

Hoilett offered new Blackburn Rovers contract


BLACKBURN Rovers have now made a formal offer to Canadian starlet Junior Hoilett as the club make every attempt to secure his long term Ewood Park future.

Hoilett’s current Rovers deal expires next summer and, with a host of Premier League clubs tracking his situation closely, boss Steve Kean is desperate to secure his prized asset on a bumper new contract.

As revealed in the Lancashire Telegraph, Kean travelled out to Toronto to discuss Hoilett’s future with his parents last month with both parties claiming the meeting went well.

David Hoilett
David Hoilett

Rovers have since submitted an official offer to the winger and his representatives and are confident the 21-year-old is ready to commit his future to the club.

Kean said: “I had a great talk with his mum and dad in Toronto.

“He has since received an offer of a very good healthy contract and the signs are that is progressing well.”

Hoilett has been a revelation at Rovers ever since Kean succeeded Sam Allardyce as manager last December, ending the campaign as the club’s most likely match winner.

Hoilett and his family have been impressed by Kean’s faith in him and liked the plans for the club Kean put across to them at their meeting last month.

Further talks are expected before a deal is finalised but both parties are optimistic he will put pen to paper on a new deal.