RUBEN Rochina is contemplating staying at Blackburn Rovers for the final year of his contract despite interest from clubs in Spain.
La Liga side Granada are among the clubs keen on taking Rochina back to his homeland this summer on a permanent deal but they have so far been unable to land the 23-year-old.
Rovers would allow Rochina to leave Ewood Park if they receive a suitable offer but are not actively pushing the Spaniard out of the door and are happy to leave any decision to the player.
Rochina spent the second half of last season on loan at Rayo Vallecano, after a previous temporary spell with Real Zaragoza, and it looked likely that he would depart on a permanent basis this summer.
But it is thought that Rochina is currently leaning towards staying at Ewood Park, with the lack of cash in the lower reaches of La Liga making it difficult for clubs to offer him an attractive enough financial deal.
With two weeks to go until Rovers’ first match of the season at home to Cardiff City on August 8, there is still time for the situation to change and for an interested party to tempt Rochina into a move.
Vallecano are another club said to be monitoring developments, although Granada are reported to be looking at other options in case they cannot land Rochina.
Rovers boss Gary Bowyer would be happy to have Rochina at his disposal this season to provide another attacking option, even if the playmaker has work to do to force himself back into the starting line-up at Ewood.
Rochina made only two starts for Rovers last season, failing to establish himself as a regular on his return from a dislocated shoulder.
Rovers put six players on the transfer list earlier in the summer and have since agreed to terminate the deals of David Goodwillie, DJ Campbell, Dickson Etuhu and Alex Marrow.
Rochina, however, was not among those transfer listed and Rovers would not offer a pay-off to the Spaniard for the last year of his deal – as they have done with some players who have left in the past year.
Rochina arrived from Barcelona on a four-and-a-half-year deal in January 2011 but Rovers were relegated from the Premier League 18 months later.
He did not feature in Wednesday night’s 2-2 draw at Accrington Stanley, instead playing in a behind closed doors game against Rochdale at Brockhall earlier in the day along with the likes of Leon Best, Ben Marshall, Jason Lowe and Lee Williamson.
Rovers travel to League One side Bradford City this afternoon, with cricket enthusiast Bowyer taking advantage of an evening off on Thursday night by taking his staff to Lancashire’s Twenty20 match at Old Trafford.