QPR weigh up third bid for Samba – but Rovers dig heels in

 

The Blackburn Rovers manager, Steve Kean, has reiterated that Christopher Samba, who arrived late for training yesterday and did not work with the first team, is not for sale.

The new Queen's Park Rangers manager, Mark Hughes, is considering a third bid for the defender, though he is unlikely to offer more than £10m, £2m short of the minimum Rovers are likely to want, having flatly rejected a transfer request from Samba this week. With Tottenham Hotspur unlikely to go near £10m and Paris St-Germain in no need of a centre-half, the Congolese defender may well find himself at Ewood Park for the rest of this season at least.

Kean said that Tuesday's club statement, declaring that the 27-year-old would not be granted a transfer, spoke for itself. "Obviously we know there's bids out there for him but it's a mark of what we're trying to do that we've refused the bids, and that's where we are," he said. "We've only had two bids from one club. There's not been any other club in contact. Chris is under contract and we've been in dialogue with him. We want him to stay at the club and that's what we'll be fighting to do."

Samba missed last weekend's victory over Fulham, which helped Blackburn climb out of the Premier League relegation places, having telephoned in sick last Friday. Kean may consider him to be in no psychological state for Saturday's trip to Everton.

The manager rejected suggestions that another central defender, Scott Dann, might also seek a move, and hinted that the club could return with a higher bid for the Fulham striker Andrew Johnson.

"We respect Fulham and we don't want to disclose what level that's at. That's one name but there's another four or five names we're actively trying to pursue," Kean said.

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