BLACKBURN Rovers have completed the permanent signings of on-loan pair Tom Cairney and Rudy Gestede with managing director Derek Shaw hailing the double swoop as ‘exceptional’ business.
Cairney and Gestede put pen to paper on three-a-half-year contracts, tying them to the club until summer 2017, after their loans from Hull City and Cardiff City respectively ran out.
The fees for both players have not been disclosed but it is believed Rovers have paid Hull around £600,000 for Cairney having been told to double their initial offer of £350,000 for the 22-year-old midfielder.
Cairney, who was being chased by other Championships clubs, was out of contract at the KC Stadium in the summer.
Had Rovers waited until his deal with the Tigers expired they would have gone to a tribunal to determine a fee given Cairney’s age.
Striker Gestede, who scored his first goal for Rovers in Wednesday’s excellent 2-1 victory at Leeds United, joins from Cardiff for a smaller fee.
And Shaw was delighted with the signings.
He said: “They are two exceptional deals for Blackburn Rovers which fit the bill in terms of our pricing policy and recruitment strategy.
“We have already seen some terrific performances from Tom and I’m sure Rudy will also become a fans’ favourite.”
“We have to thank the owners for supporting the club and the manager’s wishes.”
Rovers owners Venky’s stumped up the cash for the signings – after manager Gary Bowyer admitted he has to slash the club’s wage bill during this month’s transfer window – something he is still working towards.
Cairney has scored two goals in 24 appearances for Rovers and said: “It was a very easy decision to make once I knew they wanted me permanently – and it was the same when they wanted me on loan, I wanted to come straight away.
“It’s a great group of lads and the staff have been great. I settled in straight away so I’m delighted to have put pen to paper on a contract.”
Gestede initially joined Rovers on an emergency loan from Cardiff in November, making six appearances for Rovers so far.
He said: “It’s a big club and so I’m very happy to stay here.
“Everybody was very welcoming with me when I joined. They tried to make me feel at home and that’s happened.”
Rovers captain Scott Dann, meanwhile, is a reported target for Crystal Palace but Rovers have not received a bid from the Premier League outfit.