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Nzonzi will stay frozen out at Rovers
BLACKBURN Rovers boss Steve Kean insists Steven Nzonzi won’t play for the Ewood Park outfit again - unless he makes a statement committing himself to the club.
As revealed by the Lancashire Telegraph, the French midfielder was left out of Rovers’ pre-season training camp in Austria after telling boss Steve Kean he wanted to quit the club this summer.
Kean has now insisted Nzonzi will continue to be left frozen out of first team affairs, as he continues to train on his own, and admits the player is for sale - but only for the right price.
The Rovers boss has said no offers have yet been received for Nzonzi but warned the midfielder he would only be welcomed back into his squad if he withdrew his transfer request and pledged his future to the club.
Kean also insisted Nzonzi was the only player who had told him this summer that he wanted to quit the club as he looked to keep the squad together.
Kean said: “Steven has asked for a transfer. We want to have players on camps like that who want to be here so that was the reason why Steven was left at the training ground.
“He won’t be involved with us now we are back either, it is ongoing. We have had a couple of meetings with his dad, who is his agent, and he would like to play his football elsewhere.
“We will be listening to offers if they come, but at the moment we haven’t had any. We are not planning to have him in the squad, he has not been taking part in any of the first team sessions.
“He has been training here, which we have no problems with, he has come out and said he doesn’t want tio play for the club and that is where we stand at the moment.”
Kean would not comment on Rovers’ valuation for Nzonzi, who is contracted to the club until 2015, but the Lancashire Telegraph understand they would want in the region of £10m for the 23-year-old.
Kean said: “We will see what happens and see in the next few weeks, maybe there will be a few offers, maybe there won’t.
“It is disappointing when we are attracting players and keeping the majority of the squad. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to maintain our status - and there are many different reasons as to why that was.
“When you sit with Danny Murphy, Leon Best and Nunes Gomes and you can explain to them what happened and that we want to immediately bounce back and guys with that type of experience can see the logic in it and want to come on board.
“At this stage it is disappointing, but you never know. There might be no bids that match our valuation and Steven might then see the type of signings we are making and might end up still being here if he withdraws his request and makes a statement he wants to play for the club.
“If no one met the valuation then I would hope he would respect the fact he has a contract. I would hope he would want to get his head down and work towards playing football. He is employed to be a football player, not a football trainer and at this moment in time, he doesn’t want to play for the club.”
Meanwhile, more staff could be set to leave Ewood Park as several Southern clubs show an interest in members of Rovers' player welfare department.