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Goodwillie to hold talks as Rovers put six on the list

Goodwillie to hold talks as Rovers put six on the list

David Goodwillie

David Goodwillie

First published in Sport
Last updated

DAVID Goodwillie will discuss his future on his return from holiday after being one of six players transfer listed by Blackburn Rovers.

Rovers have been attempting to move on a number of high-earners for some time and have now taken the step of officially placing six players on the transfer list.

A brief club statement confirmed that Goodwillie, Leon Best, DJ Campbell, Dickson Etuhu, Alex Marrow and Jordan Slew are all available for transfer.

But it still remains uncertain whether all six will depart Ewood Park this summer.

Rovers have been trying for some time to move on certain players – including Best, who was deemed surplus to requirements by boss Gary Bowyer as far back as last August.

Best and a number of others were recruited on high wages and Rovers have so far struggled to find clubs willing to take on their salaries.

Goodwillie has scored only five goals and made just 10 starts for Rovers since joining the club from Dundee United in a £2.8m deal in 2011.

The Scottish striker had a loan spell at Crystal Palace during the 2012/13 season and was willing to fight for his place at Rovers last summer, only to go out on loan again – this time to Dundee United.

He ended the 2013/14 campaign on loan at Blackpool and, although he still has a year left on his contract at Ewood Park, his agent Ricky Gillies now expects the search to start for a new club.

“That’s the natural progression now,” admitted Gillies, a former Aberdeen and St Mirren player.

“He’s on holiday at the moment, I’ve not spoken to him yet.

“Obviously things haven’t panned out the way he had hoped at Blackburn.

“I need to speak to him and we need to see where we go from here.”

Although Rovers have not explicitly state that the six transfer listed players are available for free, they are unlikely to seek large fees – keen simply to get the salaries off their wage bill.

Rovers have cut their wage bill substantially over the past 12 months – agreeing pay-offs with the likes of Danny Murphy, Nuno Gomes, Gael Givet and Morten Gamst Pedersen, while also selling Scott Dann to Crystal Palace.

But they know they need to reduce the wage bill further as they attempt to fall in line with the Football League’s incoming financial fair play regulations.

Rovers have previously admitted that they are in danger of a transfer embargo when the new regulations come into place in January.

Best still has two years left on his Rovers contract but fell out of favour early in the 2013/14 campaign.

Attempts to move him on eventually resulted in a loan switch to Sheffield Wednesday, although the Owls could only afford to take on a portion of his substantial wage packet.

Campbell was loaned to Millwall, but the Lions sent the striker back to Ewood Park last month when he was re-arrested as part of a National Crime Agency probe into alleged spot-fixing in football.

The 32-year-old, who still has a year left on his Rovers deal, was bailed until late June.

Etuhu had said this week that he wanted to fight for his place at Rovers and show that he had more to offer at the club, after a disastrous two seasons hit by poor form and injuries.

But the midfielder, who has two years left on his contract, has now been told he is on the transfer list.

Also available for transfer are midfielder Marrow, who made only four appearances for Rovers after rejoining the club on a three-year deal last summer.

The 24-year-old had a spell on loan at Fleetwood early in 2014.

Slew, who has one year left on his contract, has played only two games since joining Rovers minutes before the August transfer deadline in 2011.

His only league appearance, however, was a substitute in Rovers’ famous 3-2 victory at Manchester United.

He has since had loans at Stevenage, Oldham, Rotherham and Ross County.

There also remain doubts over the futures of Alan Judge and Ruben Rochina.

Judge spent the end of the season on loan at Brentford and has said he would be interested in staying at Griffin Park after their promotion to the Championship.

Rochina has been on loan at Spanish club Rayo Vallecano and could decide he wants to remain in his homeland.

Bradley Orr remains on loan at Toronto until the end of the calendar year.

• Young Rovers midfielder Josh Morris is expected to be part of the Fleetwood Town side that takes on Burton Albion at Wembley in this afternoon’s League Two play-off final.

Morris has scored two goals in 16 games since signing on loan for Fleetwood in February.

• Rovers’ under 21 captain Darragh Lenihan earned his first cap for the Republic of Ireland under 21 team as they drew 1-1 with Qatar in Germany on Saturday.

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