Hughes in mission to transform Koumas into new Savage

Blackburn Rovers are to make a £3m bid to sign Jason Koumas from Wigan Athletic. The 28-year-old midfielder has been targeted to replace Robbie Savage who was sold for £1.5m to Derby County earlier this week.

Although he signed for Wigan from West Bromwich Albion for £5.3m only last summer, it is understood that Koumas does not feature in manager Steve Bruce's plans. Koumas is, however, admired by Blackburn's Mark Hughes, who coached him when he was in charge of the Welsh national team, handing him his international debut. Hughes hopes to complete a deal before Sunday's league meeting with Bolton.

Alex McLeish is weighing up whether to make improved bids for the Everton striker James McFadden and the Hibernian left-back David Murphy.

The Birmingham City manager had a £2.5m offer for McFadden rejected and a similar response met their £1m bid for Murphy. McLeish, who also confirmed his interest in the Manchester City striker Georgios Samaras, is determined to bring in players of proven quality during this month's window. "I don't want to bring anyone in just to fill up the numbers in the squad," he said.

The Reading manager, Steve Coppell, said that Sunderland still have no chance of signing the club's Irish international Stephen Hunt. The club have had bids of £2.5m and £3m rejected and are understood to have tried again with a £4.5m offer.

Chris Coleman said he will remain as Real Sociedad coach after receiving the backing of his players and the club's new president, Inaki Badiola. The Welshman's future had been uncertain following last week's election, but yesterday he said, "The new president has told me it's important that I stay, and the players have asked me to stay."

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