BLACKBURN Rovers forward Josh King looks set sign for Premier League newcomers Bournemouth and snub a new contract at Ewood Park.

Rovers fear that King could be tempted by the prospect of Premier League football – despite making ‘a very good offer’ to the Norwegian.


King is out of contract this summer and Eddie Howe’s side are leading the chase for the 23-year-old, with every chance of the deal - thought to be three years - being finalised today.

Rovers opened negotiations over the same length of contract with the Norwegian several months ago. The club say they have made King an attractive offer as they try to persuade him to stay.

That offer means that Rovers will be due compensation if King departs for another English club, because he is under the age of 24.

If the clubs could not reach an agreement over the fee, it would be settled by a tribunal.

Rovers had hoped to wrap things up with King soon after the end of the season, but the pace ace was prepared to take his time to assess his options before making a final decision, which left Rovers playing a waiting game.

King’s stock rose after he scored a hat-trick to knock Premier League side Stoke City out of the FA Cup fifth round in February.

Rovers are also waiting to hear whether Chris Taylor will sign a contract, but indications now are that Luke Varney will not return to the club.

Varney’s contract expires this summer and Gary Bowyer had not completely closed the door on offering the forward a new deal - even though the 32-year-old spent the end of the season on loan at Ipswich Town and has now been ruled out for six months with a ruptured Achilles tendon.

But the forward has since said that he wants to remain at Ipswich Town having ‘lost a little bit of love for the game’ during his time at Ewood, and Rovers do not expect him to return.

Rovers are still attempting to reduce their wage bill but hopes are not high at this stage of being able to move on Leon Best this summer.

Best is one of the last remaining players to have been handed a bumper deal during the Shebby Singh era, and Rovers would ideally like to move him off their books as they attempt to edge towards having their transfer embargo lifted.

Best still has a year left on his deal but Rovers are not optimistic at this stage of persuading the player to give up some of that salary and move on to pastures new.

Rovers are also looking to add to their squad where possible this summer, within the restrictions of the embargo.

Bowyer has not yet visited India for a planned meeting with owners Venky’s, but is expected to travel to Pune in the near future.