BLACKBURN Rovers boss Gary Bowyer remains hopeful of adding to his squad before Saturday’s first friendly, despite missing out on target Luke Murphy.
Bowyer had been optimistic of tempting the Crewe midfielder to Ewood Park, adding him to a list of new arrivals that so far includes Todd Kane, Alan Judge, Chris Taylor and Simon Eastwood.
Rovers, who yesterday confirmed Danny Murphy’s contract had been terminated, had gone as far as to agree a deal with Crewe for namesake Luke last week – believed to be in the region of £1million plus add-ons. But with strong interest from Wolves and Leeds the 23-year-old decided to keep his options open over the weekend.
Leeds came up with the most lucrative personal terms for Murphy, thought to better Rovers’ offer by £2,000 a month.
Rovers are understood to have been ready to match his salary on Monday morning, but by that point Leeds had secured Murphy in a hotel overnight and were set to start a medical, after which a three-year deal was signed.
“He had agreed a deal with us, Leeds also made him an offer, it was up to the boy,” said Bowyer.
Despite the blow of losing a target to a Championship rival, the Rovers boss was ready to make progress with others, which still include free agent David Jones following his release from Wigan Athletic.
Jones, who ended last season on loan at Ewood, remains an option as Bowyer bids to strengthen his squad before kicking off the pre-season campaign at Wrexham on Saturday.
And the Rovers chief is keen to secure signings in good time.
“The plan is to get a few more faces in before we go away,” he said. “We’d like to get someone in before Saturday.”
Meanwhile, Rovers star Jordan Rhodes, Chris Taylor and Alan Judge at the Roverstore at Ewood Park on Thursday for a player signing session from 4-5.30pm. The new kit went on sale today priced at £42.99