Chris Samba is 'not for sale' say Blackburn

 

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Blackburn face a battle to hang on to wantaway captain Chris Samba, but they have refused to give in to his transfer request.

The Congolese defender made his stance very clear when he told the club yesterday he wanted to leave in the current window.

However, Rovers insist the 27-year-old is not for sale, pointing out less than 12 months ago he signed a new long-term deal.

"Blackburn Rovers reiterate that team captain Chris Samba is not for sale," said a club statement.

"The player signed a new contract with the club less than a year ago which runs to June 2015."

Blackburn have already turned down two bids, reported to be from QPR as new manager Mark Hughes looks to reunite himself with the player he originally signed for Rovers, and the very public way Samba handed in his request makes keeping the player seem highly unlikely.

 

Get Adobe Flash player

 



But while the club are determined not to make it easy for the centre-back, two former players believe they will have no option but to sell.

"I think it would be best for all concerned now if he did leave," the club's record goalscorer Simon Garner, who was at Ewood Park between 1978 and 1992, told the Lancashire Telegraph.

"If they say he can't leave then he's not going to be happy and that can cause unrest in the dressing room.

"The only way it can be resolved is by him leaving."

While Garner is resigned to seeing Samba depart, he believes the club are right to stand their ground in order to raise the best price.

He is keen, however, for any proceeds of the sale to be immediately reinvested in the team.

"He's been a good servant for the club and I would expect him to go to a top-six team," he said.

"They've just got to get the best money they can for him,"

"The most important thing is that Steve Kean gets the money to spend to improve the squad.

"The thing you'd worry about is if the money was just used to service the debt."

Samba withdrew from the squad for Saturday's win at home to Fulham citing illness, but after the match manager Steve Kean said he hoped the player would be available for next weekend's trip to Everton.

That seems unlikely and with the club having just hauled themselves out of the relegation zone the Rovers boss has enough issues to deal with without having to tackle the prospect of dressing room unrest.

Former striker Kevin Gallacher, who was at the club from the mid to late 1990s, believes while Samba's departure is a loss it is one the team can overcome.

"Steve Kean will try to talk to him but I think his heart is set on leaving. It's gone too far down that road now," he said.

"He will be a big loss but I think on Saturday they showed they can win games without him.

"You've got to give credit to how Gael Givet and Grant Hanley played, and there's Scott Dann and Ryan Nelsen to come back from injury."

PA

Comments