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Blackburn Rovers boss preparing for the Premier League
STEVE Kean insists Blackburn Rovers are already preparing for their Premier League return – but admits they are resigned to doing it without Junior Hoilett.
The Canadian starlet is currently without a club after his Rovers contract expired but, despite keeping their offer on the table for him, Kean admits they are now preparing without him.
It is understood QPR and Newcastle are among the Premier League teams interested in Hoilett, while there are also numerous suitors from abroad.
But, with Danny Murphy, Leon Best and Nuno Gomes already on board this summer, and other signings planned, Kean believes Rovers are looking beyond just getting promotion.
He said: “The thing is Junior is out of contract.
“We put an offer in front of him that never had any signature. We have to plan without him now.
“The type of signings we are making shows you what we are trying to do this season. We have been working hard. Myself and Shebby Singh flew back from a meeting with the owners in Zurich on Friday morning.
“When we get to the level we want to get to, we are signing players who can play at that level.
“It is not just players who can get you there, it is players who have already done well there.
“You can get players who might get you out of the league and then they might struggle a little bit. But Leon Best and Danny Murphy and Nuno Gomes are players of pedigree and quality.”
The addition of 36-year-old former Benfica striker Gomes has raised eyebrows among some.
But Kean is adamant the striker is not coming here ‘to graze’ and is hopeful the majority of last season’s squad will also stay together.
Kean said: “If Nuno had wanted to go into the sunset he would have gone to Qatar or LA, he wouldn’t have come to the north west.
“I know what sort of financial package he could have got elsewhere. He has certainly not come here to graze.
“I have been talking to most of the players and they are telling me they want to stay. Whether they are telling their agents something else I don’t know.
“We would like to keep the majority of the squad together. We think we can have, if not the best squad, one of the best squads in the league.”