Steve keen to make name for himself with marquee signing

The cars outside the training ground seem to give some indication of the balance of power at Blackburn. There is El-Hadji Diouf’s chrome-plated Mercedes, worth £420,000, next to Michel Salgado’s Aston Martin while further along stands a modest BMW 3-series belonging to their manager, Steve Kean.

That would be misleading. Nobody outside the Ribble Valley may have heard of the 43-year-old before he was promoted from first-team coach to manager after the bizarre sacking of Sam Allardyce in December but he has not been slow to stamp his authority on Ewood Park.

There is a space reserved for Pascal Chimbonda but since the defender’s contract has been cancelled there is no car, although there are vehicles belonging to Roque Santa Cruz and Jermaine Jones, brought in on loan from Manchester City and Schalke. Diouf’s Mercedes may soon be heading for Chadwell Heath, West Ham’s training ground.

On Friday, the Lancashire Telegraph carried reports naming Juan Roman Riquelme as the marquee signing that the club’s Indian owners, Venky’s, have promised. Like David Beckham and Ronaldinho – other names that have flitted across the Telegraph’s back pages - Riquelme will probably not be looking for property in Clitheroe. However, Kean announced that Blackburn had hopes of attracting the 22-year-old Argentine striker, Mauro Formica, who grew up in Lionel Messi’s home city of Rosario and whom Kean compares to Gabriel Batistuta.

“I think it is only a matter of time before there is a major landmark signing,” he said. “Because they are paying the wages, the owners will give me a list of players that we could get but no player will come to this club unless they have something to offer.

“If Ronaldinho had decided he wanted to come, I would certainly have had to meet him and find out his thoughts about work, how often he wanted to train and make sure it was every day and with the rest of the squad. If there is going to be a marquee signing, it can’t be someone who’s just coming to graze.”

On Monday, he flew to Mumbai for the second time to meet the Rao brothers who now own the club and whom the Blackburn midfielder, Morten Gamst Pedersen, admitted were initially looked on with ‘suspicion’ when they took over.

“The first time I went to India I thought I was going to be asked what I was going to tell the players (about Allardyce’s sacking),” said Kean. “They gave me an idea of what was going to happen and that I would be in charge for the immediate future. The next time, I was offered a two-and-a-half year contract. There was no negotiation.”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'