Blackburn Rovers; Jan 2008 Transfer window diary - Week 3


Colin Illingworth

Colin is a sub-editor on a regional newspaper and is a die-hard Aberdeen fan. He's prepared to sell his soul to the Devil for the Dons to return to their former glory so Satan, if you're reading this, give him a call!...
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22/01/2008 09:30:00.
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Kevin Keeganís return to Newcastle United was cheered almost as loudly by Blackburn fans as it was by the Toon Army as it meant that Mark Hughes would be staying at Ewood Park. The former Welsh international coach was being strongly linked with a move to St Jamesí Park and The Sun even claimed that Newcastle chairman Chris Mort had told Hughes that he was the man he wanted to transform the Magpies (14/1/08), but that turned out to be just tabloid gossip as Keegan made a sensational return to the north east.

With speculation over his future at the club now over, Mark Hughes will be fully focused in getting Blackburn into a European spot, but he has had a frustrating week on the transfer front.

The week began with The Daily Mirror claiming that Hughes was interested in signing Charlton and former Newcastle United midfielder Amdy Faye (14/1/08). However, his hopes of landing the Senegalese midfielder, who is currently on a season long loan at Glasgow Rangers, were dashed by a FIFA ruling which prevents someone playing for three teams in a season (Daily Record 16/1/08).

Jason Roberts handed Rovers all three points on Sunday with a last-gasp winner over Bolton Wanderers and that strike has intensified the speculation surrounding his future at the club. The Daily Mirror reported that Sunderland were leading the race for the former Wigan Athletic striker (14/1/08). Roy Keane is thought to be lining up a £2 million bid for the powerful forward but just two days later the same paper claimed that Bolton Wanderers has joined the race. Gary Megsonís men have £15 million to burn following the sale of Nicolas Anelka to Chelsea and the Trotters are desperate for a proven goalscorer to join the ranks. But Mark Hughes is keen for Roberts to remain at the club.

By his own admission Hughes is frustrated at the lack of transfer activity at the club but has told fans to expect some new faces before the window closes. He is an astute manager and has made some quality signings during his spell at Blackburn and will not be forced to buy players just for the sake of it. He wants players who can improve the current squad and if they canít do that he wonít sign them and I think thatís something to be applauded in this day and age.

One man who has left Ewood Park though is defender Andy Taylor who has swapped Blackburn Rovers for Tranmere Rovers.

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