MICHEL Salgado is set to sign for Blackburn Rovers on a two-year deal today after turning his back on the ‘chase for pounds’ in favour of ‘the Premier League challenge’.

The 33-year-old former Real Madrid defender has turned down lucrative offers from Real Zaragoza and Dubai to get his English football wish, and could make his full debut in next week’s Carling Cup trip to Gillingham.

Salgado has been a free agent this summer after being released from the Bernabeu but has had no shortage of interest after 10 years with the Spanish giants, a spell that included two Champions League wins and four Primera Liga titles.

Salgado’s desire to play in the Premier League though has made Rovers’ interest the most attractive to him and the deal is set to be sealed this morning, with talks at a very advanced stage last night.

The veteran right back impressed Rovers boss Sam Allardyce during a trial earlier this month and he sailed through his medicals, showing ‘first class’ fitness.

The arrival of another right back has come as a surprise to some, with Lars Jacobsen and Brett Emerton already fighting for that spot this campaign, but Allardyce’s belief in Salgado convinced the club’s hierarchy it would prove money well spent.

Allardyce is considered a past master at reviving the careers of former world class players, having signed the likes of Ivan Campo, Fernando Hierro and Youri Djorkaeff during his time at Bolton.

He believes the arrival of Spanish legend Salgado could have a similar impact at Ewood Park, with the player himself relishing the prospect of playing in England’s top flight.

Salgado said: “This was the most interesting proposition in terms of sport. I have always wanted to play in England.”

While unlikely to be thrown straight into the starting line-up for Saturday’s Premier League trip to Sunderland, Salgado could join a number of players with a point to prove in the midweek cup trip to Gillingham.