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Juan Roman Riquelme on Blackburn radar - The Insider

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20 Jan 2011 15:00:32

Juan Roman Riquelme on Blackburn radar - The Insider

Simon Jones is Sportsmail's man on the inside of all the major transfer moves this January. His column, published every weekday, offers an insight into the deals which will be done and those that won't - and why. A 5/5-rating means The Insider reckons it's a done deal; 0/5 means The Insider has his mortgage on it not happening. Don't miss your daily Insider instalment here.  JUAN ROMAN RIQUELMEBoca Juniors to Blackburn THE INSIDER says: 2/5 JOHN CAREWAston Villa to West BromwichTHE INSIDER says: 2/5 Old head: Riquelme has been around a while Tall or nothing: Villa's giant striker Carew Premier League sides have tried and failed to lure Riquelme to England firstly from Spain when he was with Villareal and since 2007 when he returned to Boca Juniors. He was linked with West Ham and Birmingham during the summer and the Upton Park side went close to finalising a deal. The 32-year-old has shown he is willing to listen to offers about a return to Europe and the wages English sides can offer is a bonus. He's a big name but the question is whether he has the legs for the Premier League. Blackburn looked at his countryman Mauro Formica and Riquelme could bring the best out of him. The signing would give Venkys the name they are looking for. Footballing-wise, though, the coaching staff may consider it a risk. The Villa Park cult hero was expected to make a move across the midlands in the direction of West Bromwich but is now heading to Stoke for talks. The big Norwegian is seen by manager Tony Pulis as the ideal replacement for Ricardo Fuller who is expected to join Sunderland. Carew may be more comfortable with that switch knowing the rivalry between Albion and Villa but more clubs could join the chase. Villa initially wanted £1m for the 6ft 5in striker but their willingness to take a loan until the end of the season when his contract runs out has opened up more interest. Carew may have his injuries but when fit is still a real handful with his ability on the floor and physical strength.  PABLO COIRAHonved to CoventryTHE INSIDER says: 1/5 MOUNIR EL HAMDAOUIAjax to West HamTHE INSIDER says: 1/5 On the lookout: Coventry boss Boothroyd Options: El Hamdaaoui has plenty of admirers The 31-year-old Spanish right-back is a free agent after leaving Hungarian side Honved and is looking for a club in England. He is big friends with Blackburn's former Spain international Michel Salgado and he has recommended him to various clubs around the country as he looks to kickstart his career. Coventry have expressed an interest and have given him a trial but a deal with Aidy Boothroyd is looking unlikely. Coira, who earned nine caps for Spain at Under 21 level, is vastly experienced but willing to to train at clubs to prove his fitness and ability. He played 25 games for Honved last season, many as a central midfield player, and scored four goals in the process. The Dutch-born Morocco international was lined up by West Ham in the summer and has resurfaced as a target this window. Ajax are willing to sell for the right price despite the possibility of Luis Suarez also departing - with Liverpool still his preferred club - but the player is wary of making wrong choice. While a move to West Ham would appeal in normal circumstances he is unsure whether the ongoing uncertainty about the club and Avram Grant's position will have a knock-on effect in their relegation fight. The 26-year-old has a very good goalscoring record and would be a welcome addition at around £5m but looks set on a move to a side in a better league position. Don't miss your daily instalment of The Insider every weekday through the transfer window here at MailOnline.  Explore more:People: John Carew, Tony Pulis, Simon Jones, Juan Roman Riquelme Places: Birmingham, Liverpool, Spain, United Kingdom, Europe


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