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Nzonzi may still have a future at Blackburn Rovers, insists manager
STEVEN Nzonzi will not be involved once more when Blackburn Rovers host Hull City tonight – but Steve Kean says he will look to bring the Frenchman back into the squad if a move is not forthcoming before the end of the transfer window.
Having previously been one of Rovers’ most important players, Nzonzi did not feature in their season opener at Ipswich on Saturday or any of their pre-season games after handing in a transfer request.
The 23-year-old was even left out of the club’s training trip to Austria, with Kean saying the player would not play for Rovers again unless he made a statement reaffirming his commitment to the club.
Rovers are prepared to sell or loan Nzonzi but Kean says no offer has been received and admits the situation may have to be reassessed if no move materialises by August 31.
“He’s still under contract and we would have to sit down and talk to him about it,” said the Rovers boss.
“He’s a player who is under contract and he’s a football player, he’s not a football trainer.
“At the moment he’s seeking possibilities elsewhere and I think he’s still keen on moving.
“We’ve been open with his dad, who’s his agent, to say that if a club can meet that valuation and it’s good for us and it’s good for Steven then we’ll consider anything that’s there.
“But I’ve no idea what will happen at the moment.
“At the moment there doesn’t seem to be any bids in.
“We have to see how that develops.”
Another to hand in a transfer request has been Mark Bunn, with Kean admitting the goalkeeper – currently ruled out with a hip injury - could leave after Norwich came in with an improved bid of close to £1m.
Martin Olsson has been linked with a move to Aston Villa but it is understood that Rovers have not received any offer for the Swedish international, who is also currently sidelined following a minor groin operation.
Radosav Petrovic is likely to join Turkish side Genclerbirligi – Rovers’ former UEFA Cup opponents – and any departures could yet affect Rovers’ recruitment plans.
Their priority, however, remains a striker as they yesterday still waited for news about their improved bid for Huddersfield’s Jordan Rhodes.
The Lancashire Telegraph understands that Rhodes and his agent are scheduled to hold a meeting with Huddersfield’s chairman today.
Asked if they had received an answer to the latest bid yet, Kean said: “No, I would rather keep that to the powers that be at Ewood.
“I think when the season is up and running we’ve got to be respectful of other clubs and try to do our business out of the press.”
Asked how many players Kean was hopeful of signing by August 31, he said: “I wouldn’t like to put a number on it, we’re looking.
“Fingers crossed we can keep everybody fit. I think what everybody will see is when we did suffer an injury with Leon Best early on then we immediately strengthened and managed to get Colin Kazim-Richards in.
“You hope to keep everybody fit before the window closes but if some go out, if Rado or Mark Bunn go out, we have to consider who we have inside the squad and potentially strengthen.
“We’ve had an offer for Mark Bunn, he’s put a transfer request in so we’ll have to see how that develops.
“And we’ve given Rado permission to go and speak to another club. That will develop in the next three or four days.”
Kean last week expressed his anger to Venky’s over comments made by Shebby Singh at a meeting with fans.
The Scot said publicly that he was not satisfied with Singh’s apology but Venky’s resisted calls from some within the Rovers hierarchy to remove the global advisor, ahead of the 1-1 draw at Ipswich in Saturday’s season opener.
Asked about his relationship with Singh now, Kean said: “It’s fine. Obviously Shebby had a get together with the fans and things were said, but the only focus now is on games and points.
“When you concede so late on on Saturday you almost feel like you’ve lost, but if we can take three points at home then it becomes a good point.
“The players that played against Ipswich are fully recovered so we feel as though we’ve got a great opportunity to get off the mark in our first home game with three points.”
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