Football: Blow to Blackburn as Gallacher is ruled out for three months

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The Independent Online
KEVIN GALLACHER, Blackburn's Scotland striker, learned yesterday that he will be out for three months with a badly broken arm, sustained playing for his country against Estonia on Saturday.

It is a significant setback for Rovers to lose their leading scorer at a time when Chris Sutton is troubled by an ankle injury and Kevin Davies is recovering from a throat abscess.

To make matters worse, Martin Dahlin wants to leave Ewood Park, and is joining the German side Hamburg on loan for the rest of the season. Blackburn will pick up a loan fee of pounds 150,000 and have agreed a price of pounds 900,000 for Dahlin if the deal becomes permanent.

Another departure from Ewood Park is the Swedish midfielder Anders Andersson, signed yesterday by Aalborg on loan until next June.

Brian Deane's proposed transfer to Middlesbrough from the Portuguese side, Benfica, was put on hold yesterday after intervention from Fifa, world football's ruling body. Sheffield United, who sold Deane to Benfica, are still owed pounds 500,000, and the deal will not proceed until they have been paid.

Queen's Park Rangers have denied reports that Gerry Francis has returned to the club as director of football. A club spokesman said: "We are interviewing but nothing has been decided. We hope to make an announcement in the near future."

Francis captained Rangers as a player and became manager in 1991, leaving three years later to take over at Tottenham. Iain Dowie is caretaker manager at Loftus Road following the resignation of Ray Harford.

John Rudge is to remain as manager of Port Vale after the club's board reversed an earlier decision to reduce the number of coaching staff as a cost- cutting measure. The chairman, Bill Bell, who put the club up for sale after a similar confrontation with Rudge last year, again said he would consider offers for his controlling interest.

Motherwell's Finnish coach, Harri Kampman, resigned yesterday and Billy Davies has been named as the club's player-manager. Davies, 34, is promoted after an impressive spell as the club's Under-21 team coach. His priority is to steer the club away from the foot of the Scottish Premier League.

Rangers yesterday confirmed that they are interested in signing the French international striker Stephane Guivarc'h, who is currently out of favour at Newcastle United.

Guivarc'h rejected Rangers' advances before the World Cup finals, when he was with Auxerre, despite having been flown to Glasgow in a private jet belonging to the Rangers chairman, David Murray, to inspect the club's set-up. He then stated that he was not interested in playing in Scottish football.

Wigan Athletic are to sign the Barnsley striker Andy Liddell in a pounds 500,000 deal today.