Blackburn boss eyes new players

26 July 2011 02:00

Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean said Tuesday the club has the budget to buy new players and will add to the squad before the season starts.

"We have got three or four active bids out there -- we are waiting for confirmation that the bids have been accepted," Kean said.

"Two or three are quite far down the line. So we are confident that we'll get bodies in."

He downplayed the suggestion that the club's owners, Indian poultry company Venky's, lack the financial resources to support Blackburn in the transfer market.

"We don't have to sell before we buy," Kean added. "We are trying to keep the majority of the players together. We have a fixed budget, but it's a budget that is competitive and that will bring in good-quality players."

The club is looking to add a striker, a midfield player and a central defender. England Under 21 defender Phil Jones is the club's only major piece of transfer news this summer, moving to Manchester United for a fee that Kean has said could reach £20 million ($32 million) with performance bonuses.

"That was a difficult thing because he had only played a few games for us," Kean said. But the manager said it is hard to retain young players like Jones when they are offered the chance to play in the Champion's League.

Kean sees any new additions as the first step towards building for a future that would see Blackburn compete for European football and even a Champion's League place.

Blackburn finished 15th in the Premier League last season, skirting dangerously close to relegation. But the boss has his eye on the other end of the table.

"I think it's been misquoted to say we're going to have Champions League football next season," Kean said.

"That was never said. But trying to deliver European football for the club within three or four seasons is achievable. That's going to be the goal."

Kean also confirmed that the club would play its rescheduled friendly match in India in the first week of October, during an international break after it was postponed this month after bomb attacks in Mumbai.

Blackburn are in Hong Kong for the four-team Barclays Asia Trophy, and will take on Aston Villa Wednesday evening.

Source: AFP