BLACKBURN Rovers striker Jordan Rhodes will be ‘disappointed’ his big money move to Hull City is off.
That is the opinion of Hull boss Steve Bruce after he finally admitted defeat in his bid to sign the £12m-rated hitman.
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The rivals clubs were locked in talks over a possible deal for Rhodes until Saturday morning when Rovers owners Venky’s brought an abrupt end to the negotiations and insisted they had no intention of selling.
That did not stop reports from suggesting that the Tigers would not give up in their pursuit of the prolific forward.
But after Venky’s made it clear that their stance over Rhodes had not changed, Bruce yesterday conceded that any hope the Premier League outfit had of making the 24-year-old their club-record recruit was now ‘dead and buried’.
And the former Manchester United defender also expressed his sadness for Rhodes whose professionalism throughout the speculation has earned the praise of his manager, team-mates and fans.
“It’s dead and buried,” said Bruce, left.
“We got an indication from Blackburn that they were willing to do a deal and that obviously changed in 24 hours. That’s their prerogative.
“If they’d have said that to start with – that he wasn’t for sale no matter what we wanted to do – then fine, we’ll walk away.
“But unfortunately it gets a bit protracted and last weekend we thought it was close and then all of a sudden he’s not for sale, so we’ll move on to the next one.”
Bruce has now turned his attention to Uruguay international Abel Hernandez.
But he refused to name his latest target after the ‘debacle on Jordan Rhodes’.
Bruce added: “It gets into the public domain and all of a sudden it’s not going to happen.
“It’s disappointing for everybody concerned, but more disappointing, I would presume, for somebody like Jordan.”
Rovers goalkeeper Paul Robinson has no doubt that Rhodes has what it takes to go on and play in the Premier League.
Former England star Robinson, who is set to make his 200th appearance for the club at Wolves on Saturday (3pm), said: “You can always rely on him for a goal. He is a goal poacher and his record stands for itself.
“I think he could do it at Premier League level, whether that is here or with somebody else.”
Rovers, meanwhile, have bolstered their goalkeeping ranks by signing Ryan Crump from Liverpool.
But the 18-year-old, who has signed a one-year deal, will not provide competition for Robinson.
Instead the Scotland U17s international will go straight into Eric Kinder’s U21s set-up.