Unsettled Blackburn Rovers defender Chris Samba has submitted a transfer request to the club.

33113 - Chris Samba hands in transfer request

Samba sparked speculation about his future last week after revealing in an interview that he had grown disaffected at the club, and was subsequently left out of Blackburn's victory over Fulham at the weekend - although manager Steve Kean later claimed the unexpected absence was due to an illness.

The club initially insisted that the Congolese defender would not be allowed to leave at any price but Samba has now made clear his intention by formally handing in a transfer request.

"I have today officially requested a transfer from Blackburn Rovers Football Club," Samba said in a statement. "I have personally informed the owners, manager and executives at the club that I want to leave in this transfer window.

"In my five years at Blackburn Rovers I have always given 100 per cent in every game I have played. I have had several opportunities to leave but I have always stayed.

"I have decided now is the right time for me to pursue a new challenge and I have asked the club to respect my decision and allow me to leave.

"I thank the fans for their support and I hope they feel I have served them and their club well."

Kean reiterated earlier on Monday that Samba will not be allowed to depart, however - despite reported interest from clubs including QPR and Paris St Germain.

"He's not for sale, it's as simple as that," Kean told the Lancashire Telegraph. "He'll be back in again and hopefully ready for [the next game against] Everton."