Kean stays firm on Samba future

Kean stays firm on Samba future

Published Jan. 12, 2012 1:17 p.m. ET

Rovers captain Samba, 27, has been heavily linked with moves to Tottenham and QPR, while interest from Paris Saint-Germain has also been mooted.

Speculation has increased in the past 24 hours after the French-born Congolese defender was quoted in L'Equipe saying that his current club - who are bottom of the Premier League - "doesn't evolve at all", that "things have not gone as I was told" and that he feels it is "time for a change".

Asked about the matter on Thursday, Kean referred to a statement released by Blackburn last Friday, which stressed that Samba was not for sale.

"I know there has been an article in L'Equipe, but I haven't seen it myself," said Kean, speaking ahead of Saturday's clash with Fulham at Ewood Park.


"All I can say is that I have been told that Chris has done an interview.

"What is definite is that there were two bids from one club which were refused.

"We put out a club statement which was quite strong, saying that Chris was not for sale and as far as I am concerned, there is a line drawn under it."

He added: "You would have to ask Chris what he thinks, in terms of whether promises have been broken in his opinion and what they were.

"All I can say is that he has been excellent when he has played, he is a big player for us and he is not long in to a very long contract, so I hope that he stays here."

Samba, who has frequently been linked with other clubs in recent seasons, has been with Blackburn since 2007 and in February signed a new contract to keep him at Rovers until 2015 - a deal Kean would like to see him "respect".

Questioned as to what he could do about the situation, Kean said: "You can ask the player to respect his contract - I don't think you make contracts for any other reason than to show your commitment to the player, and you would then like the player to show that back to the club.

"There have been situations (before) where there have been bids for Chris, and there have been a number of times when he has shown a desire to leave and it hasn't happened for whatever reason.

"I think the club has always fought to try to keep him - we want to keep our best players."

As for any new signings, Kean would not be drawn on talk of him being interested in Fulham striker Andy Johnson, but insisted work was going on to strengthen the squad.

"I don't want to mention any names," Kean said. "I said at the beginning of the window that we will try to get bodies in and try to do it as quickly as we can.

"It has been slow, but not just for us, it has been slow for everybody. I don't want to give you names or numbers, but we have been very busy over the last eight or nine days."

Meanwhile, the Scot has reported "no movement" in terms of Junior Hoilett's position.

Hoilett is out of contract in the summer and with talks over a new deal stalling, Kean admitted last week that Blackburn would have to consider any bids for their in-demand winger.

Kean said on Thursday there had been no offers for the 21-year-old Canadian and is hopeful that he will be available for selection again this weekend after missing three games with a hamstring injury.

Goalkeeper Paul Robinson (calf) and midfielder David Dunn (hamstring) are also back in training, while Samba should feature as well having sat out the FA Cup defeat at Newcastle due to an ankle knock and tight hamstring.