When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Blackburn Rovers new guy Gomes faces 'biggest battle' at Ewood Park
SHEBBY Singh insists Nuno Gomes has the desire to succeed in the “biggest battle of his life” – as Blackburn Rovers look to conclude most of their summer business before the weekend.
Rovers’ global advisor is adamant the signing of former Portugal striker Gomes is not a gamble and believes the veteran will add vital experience to their Premier League promotion push.
Gomes, who turned 36 today, joins Danny Murphy, Leon Best and young Portuguese winger Fabio Nunes, who signed a three-year deal yesterday, as Rovers’ new boys this summer and Singh is happy with the progress made so far.
Sporting Lisbon midfielder Adrien Silva is believed to still be a top target for Rovers, as the player looks to negotiate his release from his current employers, with Singh admitting business is now nearly done - ahead of today’s return to pre season training.
He said: “We have signed Danny Murphy, Leon Best, Nuno Gomes, and Fabio Nunes.These four are already here to start pre season.
“We hope we can conclude the one more signing that we want by the end of the week, maybe then we will look for one more player but we want our plans in place for the weekend.
“You never can say never because something exceptional might come up but I would say I only expect two more players to come in, at the most, and that will be it before January. I am hopeful one of these will be before the weekend.
“We have to have almost concluded everything by this weekend because we want everyone to start pre-season training together.”
Rovers want Silva in England for talks tomorrow as they look to land their man.
Eyebrows have been raised at Rovers giving Gomes a two-year deal but Singh has quickly played down talk of his signing being a risk.
He insists the player turned down more lucrative offers to start his Rovers adventure and believes his desire, despite having played at the top level for most of his career, will be there for all to see.
“It is a big signing, like Danny Murphy was for us,” he said.
“We see Nuno Gomes playing in the withdrawn striker role, linking the midfield and striker, with his ability and experience to hold the ball up.
“We know it is going to be hard and fast and that is where players like Danny Murphy and Nuno Gomes become very important.
“When the rain is pelting down, and it becomes very hard, we know Danny and Nuno will help the younger lads through. We know Danny Murphy won’t shirk the responsibility and we know Nuno will not shirk the responsibility.
“Nuno turned down offers from Australia, the MLS and the Middle East, after chats with myself and the manager. That speaks volumes of his desire.
“He could have gone to sunnier climes, where there was more money available, but he wanted to come to the most difficult league in the world to get out of. That desire he has expressed is very, very important.
“Of course there were more lucrative offers on the table for him for an easier life but he has come because he has a desire to succeed in what could be the biggest battle of his entire career.
“We don’t see it as a gamble. We are not expecting 20 goals from him. Having a player of his experience and stature can only help the likes of Ruben Rochina, Mauro Formica, David Goodwillie and Leon Best.”
Discussions are expected with a number of the club’s want away players as they return for pre season today, as a few look to renegotiate their contracts after enforced pay cuts.
Martin Olsson and Steven Nzonzi both want to quit Ewood, while Paul Robinson’s future is also still uncertain. Argentinian outfit River Plate are understood to be interested in Mauro Formica but have yet to make contact with Rovers.