Blackburn gamble on veteran Fowler

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The Independent Football

Robbie Fowler will join Blackburn at their pre-season training camp in Germany after deciding to leave Cardiff. The former England striker is expected to spend several weeks with Rovers before the club's new manager Paul Ince decides whether to sign the 33-year-old.

Blackburn's official website stated yesterday: "Former England striker Robbie Fowler has teamed up with Rovers and will be a member of the travelling party on the pre-season training camp in Germany. Fowler, most recently at Cardiff, will be expected to spend a few weeks with Rovers."

Fowler, who is well known to Ince, having played with him for both Liverpool and England, scored six goals in 16 games for the Bluebirds last season.

Cardiff's website said: "Late on Thursday Robbie informed us that he has been offered the opportunity to join Blackburn Rovers.

"We fully understand the lure of the Premier League was a major factor in his decision and we wish Robbie well in the future at his new club."

The City chairman, Peter Ridsdale, insisted the release of Fowler would open the door for other strikers to move to Ninian Park. "We have to thank Robbie and move on, he goes with our best wishes. His image rights were important to us last year, but now we're looking at what he could do on the field," he told BBC Wales.

"Robbie's move frees up budget for us to look for another striker. We're pretty close to signing a new striker in a deal that I've been working on all week. When that's done we'll look for another front man to take Robbie's place."