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Rovers won't sell Samba

STEVE Kean has told Queen's Park Rangers that Blackburn Rovers are prepared to let Christopher Samba sit in the stands, rather than sell him.

Kean's comments 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' training centre and demand a meeting -- hours before the club officially declared his transfer request had been turned down.

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.

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 St-Germain. He has family in the city and often returns there.

But the French side already have five centre-halves in their squad and he is not on coach Carlo Ancelotti's wish-list. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent