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Steve Kean working 'full blast' to make Blackburn signings

Blackburn boss Steve Kean is working at "full blast" in an effort to further strengthen his squad before the transfer window closes next week.

Kean yesterday confirmed the signing of Montenegro winger Simon Vukcevic on a three-year deal from Sporting Lisbon, pending a work permit, for a fee believed to be £2million.

As the 25-year-old is his country's highest-capped player, the permit is expected to be a formality, with the hope Vukcevic will be available for Saturday's Ewood Park clash with Everton.

George John is also close to joining from Major League Soccer side FC Dallas for a fee of around £1.2million.

The centre-back is due in Blackburn today after travelling to Greece to collect a passport given his dual American-Greek nationality.

But recruiting another striker is now Kean's top priority, despite the recent signing of David Goodwillie from Dundee United.

Kean flew out of the UK last night to speak to the player he wants after being given permission by his club to do so.

After ruling out Hoffenheim's Bosnia forward Vedad Ibisevic, the focus now is on Freiburg's Senegal forward Papiss Demba Cisse or Mateus da Costa at Nacional.

"We're still looking to strengthen at the top of the pitch, to get bodies in to complement the signing of David Goodwillie," said Kean.

"I met a player on Monday, and I'm seeing another striker today after being given permission from his club to speak with him.

"We're at it full blast to get bodies in, and to get them in quickly."

Kean will still be on the touchline tonight for a Carling Cup second-round tie at home to Sheffield Wednesday.

He is aware of the need to beat the likes of League One Wednesday who have lost both of their away games this season.

"It's now very important we win this game with Wednesday," said Kean.

"It's a competition we want to take seriously, and I think we've enough fit players to put out a strong side that will get us a victory."

Blackburn's Lancashire rivals Bolton host Macclesfield with manager Owen Coyle giving youngster Joe Riley his first start.

The Trotters boss believes 19-year-old Riley's progress offers motivation to other emerging prospects.

"Joe Riley will make his full debut," said Coyle.

"That is a boost for all the young players at the club. It shows if you can continue to work hard and play at a high standard, you will get your opportunity."

Everton tackle Sheffield United at Goodison Park, with boss David Moyes upbeat despite ongoing concern about the state of the club's finances, and the league defeat to QPR.

"We are positive - we are not getting too down," Moyes said.

"We know within the walls that we are not in any way affected by the talk which is going on, but I did feel on Saturday that at times there was an anxiety in the crowd.

"But it is the same players here as last year when they finished seventh - the same players who lost at Blackburn on the opening day last season and recovered.

"We were determined and desperate to get off to a good start and we didn't do so. But we will try to get a good win in the cup that will hopefully kick us on."