Saturday 18 November 2017

Kean in dark over Rovers' transfer funds

Martyn Ziegler

Blackburn boss Steve Kean may not get to spend all of the huge transfer fee received for Phil Jones.

Rovers could earn more than £20m with add-ons from the England U-21 defender's move to Manchester United, but how much of that Kean can spend remains uncertain.

Blackburn's owners Venky's have restructured the payments on the £15m debt they inherited and that could have implications for Kean's transfer budget, but he remains confident he will bring in three more players before the end of August.

Kean said: "There has been part of the fee available, but there has been a readjustment of the relationship with the bank. I don't know all the finer details of that, so the actual amount to the pound I don't know.

"When we get a transfer target, we get all the football bits put in place and then it's case of, 'can we afford to follow through on the transfer fee and the salary?'.

"If it's 'yes' we go and do it, like David Goodwillie and Radosav Petrovic. We haven't had a 'no' yet and, hopefully, the money is still there.

"We want to bring in another striker, another midfield player and we want to bring in another centre-back. I've no secrets in telling people that we want to strengthen the spine of the team and I am confident we will do that."

Blackburn are short of firepower with Nikola Kalinic having moved to Ukrainian side Dnipro, Roque Santa Cruz and Mame Diouf returning to Manchester City and United respectively after loan spells and free agent Benjani Mwaruwari rejecting an offer of a new deal.

Jermaine Jones has returned to Schalke after his loan spell, while fellow midfielder Keith Andrews has moved to Ipswich on loan, and there is also speculation surrounding defender Chris Samba, though Kean insists no bids have been received.

Despite the departures and the fact Rovers only ensured Premier League survival on the last day of last season -- against today's opponents Wolves -- Kean is targeting a top-10 finish.

"We have had a great pre-season and it's an exciting time," he said.

"The lads have adapted to what we are trying to do and how we are trying to play and we saw some of that towards the end of last season. We want to finish in the top half of the table and by the end of the transfer window there is no reason why we can't have assembled a squad capable of doing that."

Blackburn could be without their two most experienced central defenders for the match at home to Wolves.

Samba is doubtful with a groin injury, while Ryan Nelsen, though back in training, is still feeling the after-effects of his operation.

Scotland striker Goodwillie is expected to make his debut, but new midfield signing Petrovic is unlikely to have received his visa in time to play.

Irish Independent

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