Kean will not let Samba leave without a fight
Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean has insisted the club are determined to keep hold of Chris Samba, despite the defender revealing his desire to leave the relegation-threatened club.
Samba sparked the attentions of Tottenham and QPR among many other clubs with comments he made to a French newspaper on Thursday, claiming that Blackburn were no longer progressing and that he felt the time was right for him to leave Ewood Park.
While Kean acknowledged that Samba has long been the subject of interest from other clubs, he stressed that Blackburn do not want him to leave and will not sell him without a fight.
"I haven't read the article and I haven't spoken to him. Chris was in this morning and he trained very well," Kean said. "All I can say about that without reading the article is there was interested from a club last week - there were two bids from one club that were refused, and there was a statement put out by the board that he's not for sale. It was a strong statement and it's one we're backing.
"He's an important player for us and we want him to stay."
After being read a selection of quotes attributed to Samba by L'Equipe, Kean underlined that the player's contract status means the club is under no pressure to sell.
"His level of consistency and level of leadership means certain quotes he said in there I would echo - but we committed ourselves to Chris, he's on a long contract," Kean added. "There was interest last window and even long before me, which doesn't surprise me because he's a quality player for us, but we would like him to stay."
While Samba may leave in January, Blackburn are also looking to make additions - with a bid for Fulham striker Andy Johnson reportedly rejected. The London club's boss, Martin Jol, also made it clear that he hopes the former Crystal Palace forward will stay at Craven Cottage.
"I need my strikers so I would like them to stay here," Jol said. "Of course if you could get Pele in his heyday or his young brother it would probably be different.
"I am happy with them and they work hard. Andrew Johnson is back from injury so it is only speculation. Of course there has been contact from other clubs about one or two of my players, but I don't even want to talk about that.
"We will make approaches and other clubs will too, but there is not a lot of movement at the moment."