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Blackburn Rovers manager Gary Bowyer aims to complete a striker swoop
BLACKBURN Rovers boss Gary Bowyer will have a new striker in place in time for Saturday’s derby at Burnley if he gets his way.
And the chances of Bowyer bolstering his squad before the Turf Moor meeting could be aided by the departure of Fabio Nunes.
The Portuguese winger is wanted on loan by Coventry City and Rovers would not stand in his way if he wants to move to the League One outfit.
That would help free up funds in Bowyer’s budget to sign the type of forward he believes he is lacking.
Rovers have been linked with a loan deal for Manchester United starlet Adnan Januzaj.
The 18-year-old – who excels in a role between midfield and attack – will have caught the eye of Bowyer and his assistant manager Terry McPhillips when they watched United’s under-21s earlier this season.
But Rovers have not approached the Premier League champions over Januzaj.
Instead Bowyer’s focus has been on signing a front man who would allow him to adopt a more direct style if required.
Bowyer has a number of big strikers on a wish list that was formulated after the Premier League clubs released their 25-man squads last week.
Speaking before the loan transfer window opened this morning, Bowyer said: “Fingers crossed but we’re hopeful of getting in one in before Saturday.
“There are a number of names on my list and hopefully we can get an answer off a few people.”
Bowyer received a welcome boost yesterday when Jordan Rhodes told him that he should be fit for Saturday’s lunchtime showdown with Burnley.
Rhodes pulled out of Scotland’s squad for their World Cup qualifier in Macedonia tonight after aggravating a hand injury.
But the hitman has informed his manager that the injury – which was assessed by the Rovers medical team yesterday – will not rule him out of the clash with the Clarets.
Bowyer said: “Scotland have looked after him and sent him back down the road.
“We are waiting on our medical team but I spoke to Jordan over the weekend and he seemed fine with everything, so we are not too concerned over that.
“He’ll have wanted to play for his country but selfishly, we get him for the whole week now.”
Rhodes and the rest of the Rovers squad returned to training yesterday afternoon after being given three days off.
Bowyer said: “The players have been able to have a few days off with their families, which is important given the amount of time they spend away from them.
“Now we just need the players away on international duty to come back okay.”
Grant Hanley, Corry Evans and Josh King could be in action for their national teams tonight.
Winger King continued his fantastic form with a goal in Norway’s 2-0 win over Cyprus on Friday.
Lee Williamson, meanwhile, will be given a run out in a behind-closed-doors clash game this week.
If the returning midfielder comes through the match – which will also feature Adam Henley – unscathed he will come into contention for Saturday’s derby.
“It’s going to be tough to get back into the team because there is a lot of competition for places,” said Williamson, who has yet to play this season through a back injury.
“That’s how it should be. No-one has got the time to settle and become complacent. It keeps everybody on their toes. It’s a good thing.”
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