Fowler nears Blackburn move

Robbie Fowler is poised to make a surprise move back to the Barclays Premier League after Cardiff announced he is set to join Blackburn.

The 33-year-old, who scored six goals in 16 games for the Bluebirds last season, has been linked with a move away from Ninian Park all summer and is now on the verge of being reunited with former Liverpool team-mate Paul Ince, who has taken over from Mark Hughes as manager at Ewood Park.

A statement on Cardiff's website, www.cardiffcityfc.co.uk, 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 potential transfer is particularly surprising given the former England international failed to play for Cardiff after 15 December last season due to injury, missing the Welsh club's FA Cup final appearance against Portsmouth.

City chairman Peter Ridsdale insisted the release of Fowler would free up funds for other strikers to move to Ninian Park.

"We signed him last year with a year's option, but at this stage in his career it's understandable that he accepts an offer to go to the Premiership," he told BBC Radio Wales.

"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.

"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."

The former England striker is expected to spend several weeks with Rovers before new manager Paul Ince decides whether to sign the 33-year-old.

Blackburn's official website stated: "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.

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