Samba strongly linked with Russia move

Blackburn are reportedly in talks with Anzhi Makhachkala over the possible transfer of wantaway defender Christopher Samba.

The 27-year-old made a transfer request in January but remained at Ewood Park after the winter window closed when a possible move to QPR or Tottenham failed to materialise.

However, the transfer window in Russia does not close until later on Friday and it is understood Anzhi, who recently appointed Guus Hiddink as their coach, are in negotiations to add Samba to their growing list of stars.

Assistant manager Eric Black on Friday morning suggested a deal was close to being completed although he would not confirm the identity of the club involved.

"I think negotiations are ongoing at the moment," he said. "I don’t really know the details and I’m not really in a position to comment further on that, but negotiations are ongoing."

Asked whether those negotiations were with Anzhi, Black added: "I’m not really aware to be honest.

"I’ve only heard bits and pieces, but I know the manager is speaking as we speak and hopefully there will be an outcome soon."

Anzhi have made a number of notable signings of late, funded by billionaire owner Suleyman Kerimov.

Their squad already boasts Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o, Russia international Yuri Zhirkov and former Brazil defender Roberto Carlos, while they have also been linked with a number of other high-profile players.

Should Samba, who has not played since the start of January, join their number, Black backed the rest of the Rovers squad to cope.

"He hasn’t played for a few weeks and our performances have been exceptional," said Black.

"Obviously there was a blip at Arsenal, but again, you look at the performances against Newcastle, Fulham and QPR and the guys that have been in there have done exceptionally well."