Here are the Rovers headlines from this day in year's gone by...



ROVERS could revisit their pursuit of Oxford United midfielder Joe Rothwell this summer.

That is after executive Steve Waggott revealed that some of Rovers’ January transfer kitty had gone unspent due to unrealistic fees for players at that time.

Former Manchester United youngster Rothwell, who played against Rovers on the final day of the season, was one player who the club tracked in the winter window.

The 23-year-old is out of contract at the Kassam Stadium and indications are that he won’t be signing the new deal which has been offered to him.

That means he could be available for a cut-price fee or see a price set by a tribunal.



NEW Ewood Park assistant manager Mark Venus is relishing the challenge at Rovers having re-united with boss Tony Mowbray.

The 50-year-old was named as Rovers' No.2 on Friday night and is keen to play his part in helping the club bounce back following relegation to League One last season.

Venus has worked with Ewood chief Mowbray at a host of clubs, most recently Coventry City, and believes the ingredients are there for a successful season in 2017-18.

He said: "It's a great challenge, it's a great football club, the training ground facilities are in place, we just have to try and put a team on the pitch which plays the way we want to play, but still wins lots and lots of games along the way.



OUTCAST striker Leon Best is set to see out the last year of his Blackburn Rovers contract.

The 28-year-old has 12 months remaining on the lucrative four-year deal he penned following his £3m move from Newcastle United in July 2012.

In the past two years Rovers have managed to reach a series of financial settlements with high-earning out-of-favour players, like Danny Murphy and Bradley Orr, who were also in the final year of their contracts.

It is understood that the club has attempted to come to a similar agreement with Best.

But, as things stand, he will remain at Ewood Park until he becomes a free agent in July 2016.



FORMER Blackburn Rovers boss Sam Allardyce is ready to offer Paul Robinson a route back into the Premier League – should Robert Green carry out his Upton Park quit threat.

England stopper Green is out of contract at the end of June and has not agreed new terms having helped the Hammers win promotion back into the Premier League.

West Ham chairman David Gold has admitted on Twitter that he expects Green to leave this summer, leaving the Premier League new boys looking for a replacement.

Rovers’ number one Paul Robinson is understood to be high up on Allardyce’s wish list of replacements, having been a big admirer of him during their time together at Ewood Park.

This Is Lancashire:



BLACKBURN Rovers have reached an agreement in principle with Turkish giants Galatasaray over the potential sale of Vince Grella – with his fate now lying in the player’s own hands.

The Lancashire Telegraph understands Rovers have accepted an offer for their Australian midfielder of in the region of £2million and have given Galatasaray permission to open talks with Grella.

Grella himself has declined to comment publicly on the situation as he prepares for Australia’s World Cup camp-aign in South Africa but is believed to be keen on ending his Premier League night-mare.



BLACKBURN Rovers chief John Williams insists the club will not rule anything out as they begin the search for Mark Hughes' successor.

Williams has refused to set any definite deadlines as he starts the process of identifying the best man to take Rovers forwards following Hughes' move to Manchester City.

However, the Rovers chairman, who was also largely responsible for selecting the club's previous two managers, says his intention is to make a speedy appointment.

"It's crucial now that we don't dwell on the past; we've got to look forwards and turns this situation into an opportunity," said Williams.



NEWCASTLE United are weighing up a move to scupper Mark Hughes' bid to sign striker Shabani Nonda.

Reports on Tyneside suggest new Toon manager Sam Allardyce is keen to recruit the DR Congo international, who spent last season on loan at Ewood Park.

United were keeping tabs on Nonda last season under Glenn Roeder and, although Allardyce will have his own ideas in the transfer market, the player is still in the Magpies' sights.

A source close to the club said: "Nonda would offer some physical presence and strength."

Hughes has signalled his intention to take the 30-year-old on a more permanent arrangement from Italian giants Roma.

And he is prepared to pay the £2 million price tag for Nonda, which was agreed within the initial terms of the loan.



BLACKBURN Rovers today insisted they have not made a bid for Wigan Athletic striker Jason Roberts.

Roberts' agent, Willie Mckay, claims Blackburn are one of five clubs chasing the 28-year-old, who is refusing to sign a new contract with the Latics.

As yet, Rovers have not had any contact with Wigan regarding the unsettled forward, but the Lancashire Evening Telegraph understands the former West Brom forward could still emerge as a possible target for Mark Hughes if he fails to land the players at the top of his wish list this summer.

Responding to the latest round of speculation, Rovers chairman, John Williams, said: "We've not had any contact with Wigan regarding Jason Roberts."

This Is Lancashire:



LUCAS Neill is ready to commit his long-term future to Blackburn Rovers by signing a new deal with the club.

The Australian international enhanced his growing reputation with a string of outstanding performances last season as Rovers clinched a UEFA spot.

That led to the 25-year-old being linked with a big-money move to Newcastle United so Rovers are keen to ward off interest in the player with the offer of a new contract.

As things stand, Neill still has two years to run on his existing deal after he joined Rovers in a bargain £600,000 move two years ago.

But the player's agent, Bruce Halliday, has revealed that talks have already begun about an extension.

"We are talking to Blackburn about a new deal for Lucas and we are well down the road with that," said Halliday.



EWOOD chief Graeme Souness today jetted off on a special Scandinavian spying mission as he continues to scour Europe for potential transfer targets.

The globetrotting Rovers boss is due to watch a couple of targets in action for Norway's Under 21s against Belarus tonight.

Souness has said he wants to bring in four new faces this summer -- a striker, two midfielders and a defender.

One of those players -- Tugay Kerimoglu -- has already signed subject to a work permit.

This Is Lancashire:



BLACKBURN boss Graeme Souness today insisted Damien Johnson is not for sale despite interest from a number of Rovers' First Division rivals.

Since Souness took over at Ewood three months ago a host of clubs have inquired about the availability of the Northern Ireland international.

But the Rovers chief is adamant the 21-year-old is going nowhere and has tipped the player for a bright future at Ewood.

"There has been interest in Damien since the day I came into the club but we value him quite highly," said Souness.

"He is a young player who has great potential and he is definitely one for the future.



BLACKBURN Rovers have beaten treble-winning Manchester United in the chase for the signature of one of the most highly-rated young players in the North West.

Fourteen-year-old midfielder Jerome Watt has been snapped up from Preston North End, where he had been on schoolboy forms.

And a double swoop was completed as Rovers picked up goalkeeper David Stevenson, also 14, from Blackpool and another player who is believed to have had his pick of the top clubs in the North.

The two signings represent a real triumph for Academy director Bobby Downes and his staff.



BLACKBURN Rovers have sensationally entered the race for Bolton Wanderers' highly-rated midfield star Alan Thompson.

Reports that there was a straight head-to-head battle between Aston Villa and Leeds United for the former England under-21 man have been blown apart by Rovers' stunning move.

Like their chief rivals in the chase for a player who has activated a clause in his contract following Bolton's relegation from the Premiership, Rovers can offer Thompson European football next season.

That could be a significant factor, so too could be the point that he would not have to move home again, if he was to agree to sign for Roy Hodgson at Ewood.

But Rovers may have ground to make up on the likes of Leeds and Villa - Leicester and Everton are also interested but seem to be lagging behind the others.



TONY Parkes today slapped a 'hands off' tag on Ewood Park's prize asset with the message: Graeme Le Saux will not leave.

The England full-back played 45 minutes of last night's 2-0 win over Italy in the Le Tournoi Tournament in Nantes.

And new Rovers boss Roy Hodgson, who is at Le Tournoi but was not at last night's game, is likely to take the opportunity to again speak with the defender at some stage during the competition

This Is Lancashire:

Italian champions Juventus were linked with Le Saux this week and the player has made it clear he may relish a fresh challenge - either at home or on the continent. But caretaker Parkes again underlined Rovers' unshakable stance.

Meanwhile, Rovers will want at least £2 million for want-away keeper Shay Given who looks likely to be the latest player to join the Ewood Park exodus to Newcastle United.



BLACKBURN Rovers are at the head of the pack chasing Greek superstar Georgios Donis.

But the race to capture the signature of the Panathinaikos star may still be a marathon affair, rather than a sprint.

A number of Europe's top clubs are said to be interested in the flying winger.

They include Italian giants Fiorentina, Arsenal and, notably, Manchester United.

And with the 27-year-old now out of contract, Donis would not cost a penny in transfer fees.