Rovers tell Samba he can sit in stands rather than leave
Steve Kean, the Blackburn Rovers manager, has told Queen's Park Rangers that his club are prepared to let captain Christopher Samba sit in the stands, rather than sell him.
Kean's private comments came in the last month and will have done little to enhance a relationship which has become so difficult that the defender yesterday had to track the manager down in the coaches' office at Rovers' Brockhall training centre and demand a meeting – hours before the club officially declared his transfer request had been turned down.
The Congolese defender had arrived with friends at Brockhall for a light training session yesterday, with no formal training scheduled. He felt that Kean was avoiding him, by delaying the discussion he had asked for, and then went to seek the manager out.
When the two men finally spoke, Samba is understood to have explained that he felt the club had broken a promise by failing to invest for a push for a Europa League place – as he had been told they would last summer. But Rovers fear that any money they recoup from their most saleable asset will go straight to paying off a £10m bank debt, and that appears to have influenced their resolve to refuse the transfer request he tabled on Monday.
Even if the demand had been granted, neither QPR nor Tottenham would go near the £18m Rovers have been quoting. A compromise £12m figure is possible if Samba digs his heels in, though even that may be prohibitive.
Samba's preference is to leave for Paris Saint-Germain. He has close family in the city and often returns there during free periods. But the French side already have five centre-halves in their squad and he is not on new coach Carlo Ancelotti's list. There is no evidence that Samba's decision to place a transfer request has created any friction with his team-mates at the club.
Rovers declared through their website yesterday that the transfer request had been turned down. "Blackburn reiterate that Samba is not for sale," the club said. "The player signed a new contract with the club less than a year ago which runs to June 2015."
Samba said: "In my five years at Blackburn I have always given 100 per cent. I have had several opportunities to leave but I have always stayed."
Latest in Sport
Kevin De Bruyne to Manchester City: £58m deal hits the rocks as Wolfsburg admits they're 'in no rush' to sell former Chelsea midfielder
Pogba to Chelsea: Blues set to smash British spending record with £70m midfielder and £34m John Stones
Manchester City face another struggle to make an impact in Champions League
Javier Hernandez: Great night for Manchester United, terrible night for Chicharito
Paul Pogba to Chelsea: Transfer news live - John Stones latest, Gareth Bale and Neymar to Manchester United, Edinson Cavani to Arsenal
- 1 Hair loss explained: How and why men go bald
- 2 Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe Ned Stark's son may have a twin sister
- 3 Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
- 4 iPhone 6s camera: features to include 4K video camera and flash for selfies
- 5 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn