Rhodes not for sale - Blackburn
Published 23/08/2014 | 11:26
Blackburn have told Hull they have no intention of selling striker Jordan Rhodes after rejecting two offers from the Barclays Premier League club.
The Tigers' initial bid, believed to be around £8million, for Scotland international Rhodes was instantly turned down on Thursday and their follow-up enquiry has also met a dead end.
And Rovers released a statement on their official website on Saturday morning which read: "We have recently received two official bids for the services of Jordan Rhodes from Hull City FC, both have been respectfully and categorically rejected.
"The owners of Blackburn Rovers wish to reassure fans that their intention is not to sell Jordan Rhodes as they, along with the manager and board of directors, feel that he is integral to our bid to gain promotion back to the Premier League."
The news will come as a blow to Tigers manager Steve Bruce, who said on Saturday morning that the two clubs remained in negotiations for the 24-year-old.
"I knew last night that there were conversations going on between the two clubs; that's as far as I know really so far," Bruce told Sky Sports News HQ.
"It's something that we're trying to progress, if that's possible. It's always difficult when you're talking about other people's players but there has been a bid lodged.
"I believe the first bid was refused but I do believe the two clubs are still talking."
However, the subsequent statement from Rovers suggests Bruce will have to search elsewhere as he looks to replace Shane Long following his sale to Southampton.
Blackburn paid a club-record fee of £8million to sign Rhodes from Huddersfield in 2012 and he only signed a new contract last month to take his deal at Ewood Park up until the summer of 2019.
Rovers fans feared the need to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations could see Rhodes jettisoned, though, with the east Lancashire club having posted pre-tax losses of £36.5m for the 2012-13 season.
But Saturday's statement from the club stressed that Rhodes, who has scored 53 goals in 99 appearances, remains an integral part of Gary Bowyer's team.
The statement continued: "Despite the necessity to comply with and address the pending restrictions of FFP regulations, the owners feel it would be a detrimental step to lose our top goalscorer and such an icon of this football club.
"We made our intentions clear this summer when we rewarded Jordan with a new-and-improved contract and we stand by that.
"We want to give Gary Bowyer and the team the best possible opportunity to get back to the top flight and Jordan has been, and remains, a significant part of that aim.
"It is also important to acknowledge that Jordan has acted, unsurprisingly, in a totally professional manner during this period of speculation."
Rhodes is set to make his 100th appearance at Ewood Park later on Saturday when Rovers host Bournemouth.