BLACKBURN Rovers will not be re-signing Lucas Neill after boss Gary Bowyer revealed the Australian had left the club.
Neill had training with Rovers as he attempted to regain his place in the Australia squad ahead of the World Cup in Brazil this summer.
The 35-year-old played 90 minutes for Rovers’ U21 side in a 2-2 draw with Tottenham earlier this month and Bowyer hadn’t ruled out a return for the defender who spent six years at Blackburn between 2001 and 2007.
But the Rovers boss will not be taking up the option of signing Neill, although he remains on the lookout for defensive cover.
“Lucas Neill was training with us and he played in a reserve game and now he is not training with us,” said Bowyer.
“If there was something could have come of it we might have done something but at the same time we were aware of the fact that if someone else comes in for him or if wants to try something else to get in the World Cup squad then that would be his goal.
“We were helping Lucas out with training but the World Cup is his goal and he has got an opportunity to play in that and everyone would want to play in that.
“Different people are interested in him and that is where he is at the moment.”
Neill has not played a competitive game since leaving Japanese club Omiya Ardija in November and Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou is not expected to select him in Australia’s squad for a friendly with Ecuador next month.
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Bowyer is still attempting to strengthen his squad and admits central defence is the one area he is looking at.
Rovers have only Matt Kilgallon and Grant Hanley as specialist centre backs following the January sale of Scott Dann to Crystal Palace.
But Bowyer admitted it was at tough task to bring someone in when they will not be guaranteed first team football.
He added: “You try trying to bring in a centre half in to sit on our bench. We have got to be wary of that.
“Why is somebody going to leave a club where he is playing n their reserves to come and sit on your bench? It is a difficult one but it is something that everyone has to deal with.
“We have not got mass cover there but we have got people like Jason Lowe and Tommy Spurr that can fill in there short term.”