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Blackburn Rovers fight off QPR’s late Murphy bid
BLACKBURN Rovers fought off a last ditch hijack attempt from Premier League QPR to seal the signing of Danny Murphy at the weekend.
The Lancashire Telegraph understands Rangers upped their offer to the former England international at the 11th hour – but Rovers returned with counter terms to secure Murphy's services for the Championship campaign.
Murphy had already turned down offers from QPR and Premier League new boys West Ham United to travel to East Lancashire for talks and a medical on Friday.
And, when QPR’s Malaysian chairman Tony Fernandes sanctioned a last minute second offer to the 35-year-old, his fellow countryman and Rovers new supremo Shebby Singh responded in kind to complete the deal.
It is understood the 35-year-old midfielder put pen to paper on a pre contract deal on Saturday evening, having agreed a two-year contract. It is expected to be confirmed by Rovers today.
Rovers are also chasing Newcastle United duo Leon Best and Dan Gosling – although reports from Australia claiming Harry Kewell, 33, is close to a move to Ewood are understood to be wide of the mark.
The former Leeds and Liverpool midfielder is expected at Brockhall for ‘tests’ today, after quitting Melbourne Victory and returning to England for family reasons, but the Lancashire Telegraph understands any move to Rovers is highly unlikely.
The Lancashire Telegraph also understands Rovers will hold further talks with Newcastle United striker Leon Best later this week, after having a bid in the region of £3million accepted.
The 25-year-old former Southampton and Coventry man is currently mulling over his future having been told by the Magpies he is way down their striking pecking order.
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is also believed to have given former Everton midfielder Dan Gosling permission to speak to Rovers about a potential loan deal.
Murphy's capture is the first sign that Rovers owners Venky’s are finally prepared to provide a ‘decent’ budget, with a lucrative package also understood to be on offer to Best.
Rovers have several other targets on their radar, in both midfield and up front, as they look to strengthen their squad to push for an instant Premier League return.
The club are hopeful former defender Colin Hendry will join the coaching staff this week, while further appointments could be made.
Meanwhile it is understood Rovers director Vineeth Rao, a close friend to owners Venky’s, will take a backward step in terms of influence at the club.
It is also believed youth charity ‘The Prince’s Trust’ will continue to have their name splashed on the front of the shirts next season.