Transfer news

Blackburn join Ronaldinho race

January 3, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Blackburn Rovers have sensationally joined the race to sign Ronaldinho after the Brazilian World Cup winner's AC Milan exit was all but confirmed.

Antonio Cassano, Gennaro Gattuso, Ronaldinho
GettyImagesRonaldinho has now left the AC Milan training camp in Dubai

• Cassano deal completed
• On The Move: Ronaldinho latest

Ronaldinho has left AC Milan's training camp in Dubai and it was thought he was negotiating a move to Brazilian club Gremio but his agent has revealed the Premier League club is also in the running, with a massive £130,000 a week contract offer being reported.

"Blackburn have contacted us. There is also other interest in England but this is confidential," Ronaldinho's agent and brother Roberto De Assis told the Daily Mirror.

The report claims Blackburn's new Indian owners are eager to make a statement about their new project with the capture of one of the world's most recognisable players. They caused a shock by sacking relatively successful manager Sam Allardyce shortly after their takeover to take the club in a new direction, and bringing Ronaldinho's samba style to Ewood Park would mark another significant change in the club's image. But the possibility remains that Assis has decided to go public with Blackburn's interest to drive up Ronaldinho's price elsewhere.

Assis said on Sunday: "He will arrive in Porto Alegre today in order to negotiate with Gremio, but nothing is decided yet. Everything depends on how these negotiations go. If we don't reach an agreement with a club in Brazil then he will return to Milan, as he is still a Milan player. We are not ruling anything out."

Milan's €8 million price tag could prove a stumbling block for the Brazlian club, but Flamengo and Palmeiras have also expressed interest and his coach, Massimiliano Allegri, appears resigned to losing the player.

"There is a great deal of disappointment and I am sorry that we couldn't get him back to his best," Allegri told Sky Sport Italia. "Potentially he is the best in the world. I hoped for a great year from him."

Zlatan Ibrahimovic added: "I'm disappointed Ronaldinho is no longer with us. In my view, he is one of the greatest champions of all time and it was an honour to play alongside him. It's true that recently he wasn't very happy on the field, but the important thing is that he's happy now. Dinho knows what he wants from his career and must follow it."