Rovers boss Bowyer close to permanent move for striker Gestede
BLACKBURN Rovers hope to seal a permanent move for striker Rudy Gestede when the transfer window opens tomorrow.
The 25-year-old’s initial loan from Cardiff City runs out after the New Year’s Day encounter at Leeds United.
But Rovers boss Bowyer is confident Gestede will sign a permanent deal.
Cardiff are willing to sell the Benin international for a small fee as he is out of contract in the summer – and Bowyer is keen to keep him.
“Hopefully we can get it over the line,” said Bowyer.
“I think in the last two games the fans have started to see what he is capable of and what an asset he could be for our football club.
“He’s got fantastic work rate and you look at the size and the strength he has got.
“He’s also got pace which he showed against Sheffield Wednesday when he got past the defender and should have done better with the finish.
“We just need him to get that first goal and then he’ll be flying.”
Gestede, after four substitute appearances and one start, has yet to open his account for Rovers.
One player being linked with a move away from Rovers is Alan Judge.
League One sides Brentford and Sheffield United have both expressed interest in taking the midfielder on loan.
But the Blades appeared to pull out of the race for his signature on Sunday when their assistant manager Andy Garner said: “We were looking at him, he was one of the players were interested in.
“I think something might have been done with another club.”
Bowyer, however, insists Judge’s departure is not a foregone conclusion.
The 25-year-old Irishman, who returned to Rovers in the summer on a free transfer from Notts County, came on against Birmingham and he is expected to be in the squad against Leeds.
Bowyer said: “He wants to play for us, that’s for sure, but at the same time he wants to play football and you have to admire him for that.
“He’s not just one of those who wants to sit on his wages. He wants to play football so it is something we’ll monitor as we go along.
“I fully expect him to be in the squad on Wednesday.”
Bowyer also confirmed that former Rovers defender Lucas Neill is training with the club at Brockhall but the Australia captain is not expected to sign a deal at Ewood Park.
Neill, who has family based in Blackburn, is a free agent after his release from Japanese outfit Omiya Ardija in November.
And Bowyer has given the 35-year-old the chance to keep his fitness up while he searches for a club.
Neill is believed to have been told by Australia coach Ange Postecoglou he must find new employers before March if he is to skipper the Socceroos at next summer’s World Cup in Brazil.
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