Racing Santander midfielder denies Blackburn Rovers talks

Racing Santander defensive midfielder Pape Diop has denied a report in the Daily Mirror that he has been in talks with Blackburn Rovers about a proposed January move to Ewood Park.

Diop, who is expected to have shaken off an injury to appear against Real Sociedad on Sunday evening, admits he is aware of the Premier League club’s interest: “Yes, I did read it but nobody has said anything either to me or, to my knowledge, my agent,” he said. “If it’s true we can talk about it, although at the moment I am happy here. Right now I am a Racing player, belong to Racing, and the only thing I am thinking about is helping the team.”

However, a potential problem to any winter move could be his participation in the African Nations Cup, to be held in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea between January 21 and February 12. The Senegalese international is expected to be named in his country’s squad for the tournament and could be away for as long as four weeks, if he joins up for a week’s training prior to the first game. He said: “It would be a surprise if I wasn’t there as I’ve been in the starting line-up for the last two matches, but we will have to wait until the squad is announced next week.”

Considered a key component of the Racing set-up since a €1.2m move from Gimnastic de Tarragona in July, 2009, the 25-year-old started his professional career in France with Rennes before signing for Tours then moving to Spain in 2008.

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