Samba submits official transfer request
In-demand Blackburn Rovers defender Christopher Samba has handed in a transfer request to try and force a move away from Ewood Park.
Queens Park Rangers and Tottenham Hotspur, as well as big spending Ligue 1 club Paris St Germain, are both said to be tracking the centre-back.
The news comes just hours after Rovers boss Steve Kean had insisted the player was not for sale. But Samba says that after five years at Blackburn it is time to move on.
"I have today officially requested a transfer from Blackburn Rovers Football Club," Samba said in a statement. "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 Rovers I have always given 100% 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."
Kean told the Lancashire Telegraph: ''He's not for sale, it's as simple as that. 'He'll be back in again and hopefully ready for Everton.''
Meanwhile, the club are not commenting on a letter by former Rovers directors to owners Venky's which was made public over the weekend.
Ex-chairman John Williams, Tom Finn, the then managing director, and Martin Goodman, formerly the finance director, wrote to co-owner Anuradha Desai last January expressing their concerns about the way the club was being run.
All three have since left Ewood Park and although Paul Hunt was hired as deputy chief executive and Karen Silk replaced Goodman concerns remain among fans, many of whom have been protesting against the India-based owners for the last few months.
In the letter the trio expressed their worries that the board on which they sat was being marginalised in the decision-making processes at Ewood Park and that Kean, who at that time had been in the job less than a month, needed greater support.
It is a situation which many feel still needs addressing with Kean still looking for assistant coach to replace Paul Clement, who was in the job for less than three months before moving to Paris St Germain to be reunited with former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti.
Eric Black, formerly Steve Bruce's assistant at Sunderland, and ex-Blackburn midfielder Billy McKinlay, currently working as a youth coach at Fulham, have been linked with the job.