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Venky's: Blackburn Rovers have bid for Ronaldinho
BLACKBURN Rovers’ owners say they have made a £6.2million bid for Brazilian ace Ronaldinho – just 24 hours after vehemently denying their interest.
Rovers fans were left stunned, confused and excited tonight after Venky’s chairman Anuradha Desai was reported to have confirmed they HAD tabled an offer to AC Milan for the striker.
The Indian poultry giant’s Facebook page said they had made an official approach for the two-time Fifa World Player of the Year on Sunday morning, before the comments were quickly removed.
Co-owner and Mrs Desai’s brother Venkatesh Rao then denied their interest to the Lancashire Telegraph, saying, “there is no interest at all, they are just rumours”.
Ronaldinho’s brother and agent Roberto De Assis has since stated he has had contact from Rovers, with Mrs Desai now reported to have told Sky Sports they are in the race for the former Barcelona man.
The 30-year-old is currently holidaying in Brazil with a number of their top clubs clamouring to land his signature.
Gremio, Palmeiras, Flamengo and Corinthians are all understood to want him, with Assis admitting, “by January 4 everything should be defined. I cannot say more for now, but we want him to return to Brazil.”
News of the bid has stunned staff around Ewood Park as well with the club’s current board understood to have been unaware about the interest.
Manager Steve Kean is believed to have met chairman John Williams on Friday to finalise the club’s January wish-list, with Ronaldinho never mentioned in their plans.
This is just the latest in a series of contradictory statements made by Rovers’ new owners since they bought the club in November, with mixed messages being sounded by different members of the Rao family thoughout.
Their interest in Ronaldinho will send shock waves through the football world, though, and is hoped it signals their future ambitions.
It is unclear who made the decision to target Ronaldinho although the Lancashire Telegraph understands the idea did not originate from Ewood Park.
Boss Kean was expecting an answer from his bosses in the next 24 hours about whether he could move for his set of targets, with Blackpool’s Charlie Adam understood to be on the list.
Whether or not the funds would still be available for Kean is uncertain, with Rovers having to make the Brazilian their highest paid player by a long way for any chance of sealing an unlikely deal.
Ronaldinho is still expected to return to his homeland but Rovers owners are now waiting in the wings should he fail to agree a deal.