Club Focus – Blackburn – Allardyce awaits transfer kitty discussions

A couple of weeks have passed since Indian poultry giants Venky’s completed the takeover of Blackburn Rovers, but with the January transfer window looming, manager Sam Allardyce is still none the wiser as to how much he will be able to spend on new players. Some media sources have suggested that Big Sam will be looking at a transfer kitty of around £5m including wages – although this figure has by no means been confirmed. Although that pot of cash is more than what Allardyce had to invest in the squad last summer, it remains questionable as to whether he will be able to bring in the ‘impact player’ that Rovers so desperately need if they are to finish in the top half of the table for the second consecutive season.

Ever since Venky’s gained control of the club, there have been indications that the owners would meet Allardyce and consult with him over a proposed budget and transfer targets. However, the former Bolton boss is still waiting to discuss these issues with the men in charge. It has now emerged that officials from Venky’s will hold talks with sports agency Kentaro before meeting Allardyce. It is still unclear what future role Kentaro, who were acting as advisors to the Indian group throughout the takeover process, will play.

It has been suggested that Kentaro could use Blackburn as a means of bringing through some of their young talent into the Premier League. Although this is not such a bad idea as it would allow Rovers to delve into a pool of foreign talent, there are growing concerns over who would make the final decision with regard to transfers. Allardyce will want full control over the ins and outs at the club.

Nevertheless, talks between the manager and the owners will have to be held sooner rather than later in order to clarify details before January. Rovers are already plotting to swoop for former Blues striker Roque Santa Cruz, but with clear interest from Mark Hughes’ Fulham too, it is vital that the Lancashire side get in there early and thrash out a deal before their rivals do. It is also likely that Allardyce will want a versatile midfielder to add to his squad, in order to lessen the burden on the frequently injured David Dunn and players such as Andrews and Grella who are currently sidelined. For Big Sam to seriously consider targets to strengthen the midfield area, he must be told how much is available for him to spend.

Blackburn are being linked with a whole host of players at the moment, which is not unusual so soon after a takeover, however the likelihood of signing some of the experienced players mentioned seem to be a distant dream. Robbie Keane and Pavel Pogrebnyak are the latest strikers being tipped to move to Ewood Park. But, with both proven goalscorers being highly sought after, Rovers may be priced out of a move for either of them. It remains to be seen whether Venky’s are able to back Allardyce’s move for such targets.

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