RUDY Gestede has paid tribute to strike-partner Jordan Rhodes for helping him make a red-hot start to his Blackburn Rovers career.

The 25-year-old Benin international now has four goals in his last five league games after his coolly taken finish in Tuesday’s 2-2 draw at Barnsley.

Half of those goals have been created by Rovers’ top scorer Rhodes who Gestede believes is much more than a penalty-box predator.

“He makes it easy,” said Gestede, a January transfer window £200,000 capture from Cardiff City.

“It’s a gift for me because he’s a clever player. He scores goals, which for a striker is the main thing, but he can give assists and play too – he can do everything.

“He is one of the best strikers in the league.

“He showed that last season when he scored 28 goals and he already has 16 goals this season so I am very happy to play with him. He makes me play better on the pitch.”

With Leon Best firmly out of favour Gestede and Rhodes are Rovers boss Gary Bowyer’s sole forward options.

It is a situation he is attempting to rectify before the transfer window slams shut tonight.

Leeds United striker Luke Varney has already indicated he wants to join Rovers.

The 31-year-old pulled out of Leeds’ squad for their clash with Ipswich on Tuesday to avoid jeopardising a potential move to Ewood Park.

But Varney’s future was not near the top of Whites boss Brian McDermott’s priority list yesterday after it was revealed that a proposed takeover of the crisis-hit Elland Road outfit had fallen through.

Fresh speculation also emerged yesterday linking Bowyer with Leicester City striker Martyn Waghorn.

Bowyer, who has let 15 players leave this month, is also in the market for a winger after Ben Marshall sustained an ankle injury.

Cardiff City wideman Craig Conway is believed to have been identified by Bowyer.

There is still a question of whether skipper Scott Dann will remain a Rovers player come 11pm tonight.

Crystal Palace and Norwich City have both been linked with the defender.

While Palace are set to sign Ivan Ramis from Wigan Athletic, their manager Tony Pulis could still bbe in the market for another centre-back.

Portuguese duo Nuno Henrique and Paulo Jorge could leave Rovers before the close of the window.