Benni McCarthy is set to sign a new contract at Blackburn Rovers.

The Lancashire Telegraph can reveal that the South African star is close to penning an improved three-year deal at Ewood Park, that will see him stay at the club until 2011.

The two parties have yet to finalise negotiations and obtain the appropriate work permits.

But sources close to the club have confirmed that the Cape Town-born hitman will put pen-to-paper on a new deal soon.

The news will come as a huge boost to Rovers fans who will be delighted to see one of Mark Hughes' big-name signings remain at Ewood.

McCarthy became an instant hit when he signed from Portuguese side Porto in 2006 on a four-year deal.

He got his first goal for his new club on his home debut against Everton and went on to become Rovers' leading scorer in his first season with 24 goals, 18 of those in the league.

His goal that beat Arsenal in the FA Cup fifth round that season was voted as the club's goal of the year.

But after a summer of rumours linking him with a move to Chelsea, and the arrival of Roque Santa Cruz from Bayern Munich, McCarthy admitted he had taken his eye off the ball.

And in a season which has seen him in and out of the team, he has still managed 11 goals - his last a double salvo against Bolton in the 4-1 win at the end of February.