Varney: I never refused to play to get Rovers move
LUKE Varney has refuted the suggestion he refused to play for Leeds United in order to push through his move to Blackburn Rovers.
Leeds boss Brian McDermott revealed after his side’s 1-1 home draw with Ipswich Town on January 28 that the striker had requested to be left out of that night’s squad in fear of jeopardising his chance to join the Ewood Park outfit.
Varney, who was replaced in the Whites’ starting line-up by former Rovers forward El-Hadji Diouf, admits he did ask McDermott not to be considered.
But the 31-year-old insists he would have played if his manager had asked.
“Basically I said to the manager that I was worried about getting injured but that if he did choose to play me that I would give 100 per cent,” Varney said.
“That was the end of that and he (McDermott) told me to go and train and then we’d have a chat after.
“He then came up to and said to me, ‘listen Luke, we won’t play (you), we’ll play Dioufy’.
“I said thank you to him as I was glad he understood my situation.
“I just thought I’d mention it as I didn’t want him thinking my mind wasn’t completely on the game.
“It was an adult conversation and there was no problem.
“But to see comments saying I refused to play were completely untrue and people who know me say I would never do that.
“But I spoke to the manager about it and we cleared the air and it was fine.”
Varney’s move to Rovers was initially blocked by new Whites owners Massimo Cellino on transfer deadline day.
But after the window for loan signings reopened last Saturday, Varney was given the green light to put pen to paper on a deal that will see him remain at Rovers until May 11.