Samba plea for Rovers escape after he hands in transfer request as manager Kean insists defender is not for sale
Chris Samba sparked a tug-of-war between Tottenham and Queens Park Rangers by handing in a transfer request.
The Blackburn centre half’s future has been the subject of intense speculation this month, and he told a French newspaper last week of his intention to quit Ewood Park.
Rovers manager Steve Kean has been adamant that his star defender is not for sale as he looks to keep his best players for the club’s relegation battle, and Sportsmail understands Blackburn will reject Samba’s request.
Rovers and out: Blackburn defender Chris Samba wants to leave Ewood Park
But it will be tough for them to keep hold of a player who is determined to leave.
Samba confirmed in a statement: ‘I have today officially requested a transfer from Blackburn Rovers Football Club.
‘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 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.’
Standing his ground: Steve Kean does not want to let Samba leave Blackburn
The news will be of particular interest to London rivals Spurs and QPR, who are hot on the heels of the 27-year-old.
QPR have already had two offers — of 6million and 7m — turned down by Rovers, and Loftus Road officials re-opened talks with Blackburn on Monday to lure Samba to the capital.
New Rangers manager Mark Hughes was responsible for giving Samba his Premier League chance when he signed him for Blackburn from Hertha Berlin in 2007, and Hughes hopes his relationship with Samba will give him the edge over Tottenham.
Sportsmail exclusively revealed last week how Spurs had opened talks with Blackburn over a 7.5m move.
Manager Harry Redknapp has been open about his interest in Samba this month and has made the defender a top January target.