The middle of June during a year which ends in an odd number is a barren time for a football fan. With no World Cup or European Championship to follow, supporters up and down the land have to get their sporting kicks by watching a 2nd rate test series against a dreadful Sri Lankan team or the bat and ball competition currently being played out in SW19 (yawn yawn).
Mid June is also a notoriously quiet time on the transfer front too. Many players will be reporting back to their clubs in the next couple weeks fresh from the beaches of Barbados, if they are lucky, or Blackpool, if they are not. We should then start to see some movement at Ewood for those coming in and those going to the departure gate like Phil Jones.
Don't get me wrong, I was deeply disappointed to see our greatest asset walk away. But a figure close to Â£20 million for a 19-year-old who only made his debut 15 months ago seems like good business to me. The money recouped from the sale of Jones must be spent and spent wisely but who knows, Jones may turn out to be the new David May and who would have the last laugh then? (somehow I doubt it though)
A positive aspect to the transfer seems to be Venky's determination in not being taken for granted by the powers that be at United. Their insistence that the club received what was rightfully theirs was applauded by the Rovers faithful.
Chris Samba's future has constantly been open to speculation since the owners' revolution. He appeared to be outspoken at the turn of the year but subsequently signed a new deal and appeared to have committed his future to the club. Now it appears that Arsenal have been courting him and our skipper seems reluctant in telling them he is not interested. This matter needs to be resolved now. We can't have our figurehead umming and ahhing as we enter the pre-season preparations so if he wants to seek new challenges, we should get the best price possible for him. I would put the figure close to Â£12 million, given his age, ability and experience.
The newspapers have again been speculating who may be recruited in time for the August kick off. We were linked with no fewer than six different players and to be truthful, only Robbie Keane's name bounced off the page with familiarity. One of those lesser known targets is prolific Roma striker Mirko Vucinic. However his agent has ruled out a move saying he deserves a "more prestigious" club. Cheers!
We also appear keen on Freiburg striker Papiss Cisse but the Senegalese's wage demands may make this a non starter.
Whatever happens, the season ticket will still be purchased this week (again outstanding value at Â£225) and the supporters will still believe that things will be different this time around. Only time will tell.
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