BLACKBURN Rovers managing director Derek Shaw says the club is getting ‘nearer and nearer’ to having its embargo lifted after Rudy Gestede followed Jake Kean out of the Ewood Park exit door yesterday.

Striker Gestede sealed a £6m transfer to Aston Villa after goalkeeper Kean had the final 12 months of his contract, which was worth around £10,000 per week, cancelled by mutual agreement.

The out-of-favour keeper, who is now expected to sign for top-flight new boys Norwich City, was the last of the high-earning players that Rovers have been actively looking to move on since Gary Bowyer’s appointment as full-time manager in May 2013.

The club did not want to lose Gestede, who scored 34 goals in 65 appearances after his £200,000 switch from Cardiff City 18 months ago.

But the huge profit Rovers have made on the Benin international means they are now close to coming out of the embargo that has prevented Bowyer from signing players for fees since January.

Shaw said: “Jake is the last of the players who were surplus to requirements and who Gary wanted to move on.

“It’s been a two-and-a-half-year project, basically, going back to your (Danny) Murphys and (Gael) Givets, and Jake is the last one.

“The salaries of the players that have remained are much more under control but, while it doesn’t mean that everything has ended, because there are settlement periods with a lot of these players, there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel.

“As many Blackburn Rovers fans know, there have been some contracts that, quite frankly, have been unmanageable, and it’s taken a lot of time getting it sorted out because some of the players have not had clubs to move on to. But we have to do what’s in the best interests of the football club.

“There have been an awful lot of names, names that don’t always spring to mind, like your (Simon) Vukcevics and the Portuguese players.

“It’s now up to us to keep trying to build the squad back up under the circumstances we’re currently in.

“We’re still under an embargo but we’re getting nearer and nearer to the point where we will be trading within the rules and we’ll come out of the embargo.”

It is understood that Rovers, who are in regular contact with the Football League, would have their embargo lifted if they sold a player for a similar fee to the one they have received for Gestede.

Shaw said of last season’s 22-goal leading marksman: “We’re all extremely disappointed to lose a player of Rudy’s quality.

“But a top Premier League club came in for him, they reached his valuation, and he wanted to go there.”

The departure of Kean and Gestede means Bowyer has two further spaces in an already stretched squad that can contain no more than 24 established players under the terms of the club’s embargo.