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Friday, January 30, 2009
Big Sam keen to reunite with Diouf at Rovers

Soccernet staff

El-Hadji Diouf could be set for a reunion with former manager Sam Allardyce if Sunderland accept a bid from Blackburn Rovers for the controversial striker.

It is understood that the Wearsiders have received a bid from the Ewood Park club of around 2m and could be tempted to offload the 28-year-old Senegal international. Diouf has played 14 Premier League games for Sunderland following his 2.5m summer move from Bolton Wanderers but has yet to find the net.

Allardyce signed Diouf during his time as Bolton boss and managed to get consistent performances from a player who also failed to fire during his time at Liverpool, but did earn the unwanted reputation of being disruptive.

''We're in the process of trying to sign El-Hadji Diouf at the moment,'' confirmed Allardyce.

''So the one-in, one-out scenario looks like it will be finalised this morning (Friday). He can play a few positions, down the right, down the left, as well as along the front.

''I'm hoping he can come and give me the kind of performances he gave at Bolton. At 26, he is in the prime of his career, so hopefully we will get that sorted today and get him in the squad tomorrow.''

Sunderland have resisted the temptation to cash-in on striker Kenwyne Jones' growing reputation turning down a reported bid of 14m from Spurs, but with Diouf having failed to make his mark the club could be tempted to cut their losses.

Earlier this week Sunderland allowed French full-back Pascal Chimbonda to leave the club, as he headed back to Tottenham Hotspur after just 16 appearances for the club.

Like Chimbonda, Diouf made a promising start under then-manager Roy Keane but fell out of favour amid suggestions of disciplinary problems. He has started three of the last five games, but has been an unused substitute for the last two.

Current Sunderland boss Ricky Sbragia revealed on Wednesday that he is hoping to make progress on his own recruitment plans - he is keen to land at least one experienced defender - before Sunday's short derby trip to Newcastle.

But he also hinted that there could be further movement out of the club with time running down towards Monday evening's transfer deadline.

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