Not end of Rhodes for Blackburn Rovers
BLACKBURN Rovers have not yet given up on securing a deal for Huddersfield’s Jordan Rhodes – but they have revived their interest in fellow striker John Guidetti as they assess other options.
Rovers had a third offer for Rhodes rejected earlier this week and, while they are running out of patience in their pursuit of the highly-rated 22-year-old, they are prepared to persist in their chase a little longer as they attempt to negotiate with Huddersfield.
Boss Steve Kean was reluctant to comment yesterday on how the club would respond to the latest rejected bid, with Huddersfield desperate to hang on to Rhodes, but the Lancashire Telegraph understands that Rovers remain eager to land their top strike target.
The club are aware, though, that time is running out ahead of the closure of the transfer window on August 31 and are ready to turn their attention to Manchester City forward Guidetti if they cannot land Rhodes.
Rovers were initially put off by the prospect of a £6m fee for Guidetti, who is still unproven in English football, but a season-long loan deal could now be a possibility with the 20-year-old to sign a new long-term contract at City.
The Swede had a loan period with Burnley 18 months ago and impressed with 20 goals in 23 games during a temporary spell with Dutch side Feyenoord last season.
He has been on the sidelines since April after a virus paralysed his right leg and ruled him out of contention for a call-up to Sweden’s Euro 2012 squad, but his agent has said this week that the striker is nearing a return and revealed that a total of 15 clubs had enquired about his availability – meaning that Rovers would have to move quickly to win the race.
Rovers have been looking for a striker to lead their front line since Leon Best was ruled out for six months with a cruciate knee ligament injury. The club are set to pay for the former Newcastle man to travel to the respected Athletes’ Performance facility in Los Angeles to speed up his recovery.
Steve Kean has already recruited Colin Kazim-Richards on a season-long loan from Galatasaray, with the Turkish international netting in each of the first two games of the season.
But the 25-year-old left the field with a knee injury in the closing stages of Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Hull and was having a scan yesterday to determine whether he will be available for tomorrow’s home game against Leicester City, with Kean describing him as ‘touch and go’.
The Rovers boss insisted, however, that he still has other options at his disposal this weekend if Kazim-Richards was ruled out.
“We’ve got Nuno Gomes, we’ve got David Goodwillie and we’ve got Edinho,” Kean said. “We’ve still got options there and we’re trying to get another one in as well.
“Who that will be, we have a few options and we will continue to press on with that.
“There is a possibility but once the season starts people are trying to hold on to their players so it’s difficult at this stage.
“But we will continue to try to strengthen the squad.
“The good thing is that we’ve got options already here inside the club and if somebody gets injured then we just have to replace and make sure they get the best possible medical opinion to get back as quickly as possible.”
And Kean believes Rovers’ strength in depth will be a major asset this season, saying: “We had the ability to rest Morten Gamst Pedersen, Gato Formica and Nuno Gomes on Wednesday.
“I think that’s going to be a big point this year, to make sure that everybody gets a rest and we use the full potential of the squad. That’s a big advantage because not only have we added to the squad but we’ve managed to keep the majority of last year’s squad together as well.”