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Dublin: 11 °C Thursday 26 April, 2018

The Departures Lounge: your daily transfer gossip round-up

For Sale: 6ft 4in central defender, 27-years-old, in good condition, five years’ Premier League experience. Any takers?

Spurs and QPR are interested in taking the Congolese.
Spurs and QPR are interested in taking the Congolese.
Image: Tony Marshall/EMPICS Sport

BLACKBURN ROVERS FANS have been calling for manager’s head all season, but it looks like their captain is keen to get out.

Defender Chris Samba has had his fill of chicken in the Rovers canteen and is looking for a “more ambitious” club after telling the Venkys he would like a move away from the Premier League’s bottom side.

Tottenham fancy their chances of luring the big Congolese international to White Hart Lane and are offering €9m for his services while new QPR boss Mark Hughes has already tabled a bid for him.

The Rs are continuing their drive for new recruits and look to be nearing a deal for Alex after AVB admitted that Chelsea had received an approach for the transfer-listed defender.

We reported on Monday that Darron Gibson had turned down the advances of Everton and was planning to see out his contract at Manchester United, but widespread reports are suggesting that the Toffees have not given up hope on taking the Derry native to Goodison and are willing to pay the €2.4m he would cost.

While we’re on Irish players, Robbie Keane has finally moved to Aston Villa on loan (no ‘boyhood dream’ jokes, for the love of God) while Coca-Cola Championship club Reading have continued their policy of spotting a bargain in the League of Ireland to sign Shamrock Rovers’s out-of-contract striker Karl Sheppard.

Belgium’s rising star Eden Hazard has been scouted by just about every top club in Europe, if reports are to be believed, since cementing a place in Lille’s first team a couple of years back.

The winger is still only 21-years-old but it is only a matter of time before he makes a big-money move.

Chelsea would appear to be mounting a €30m bid but knowing the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester City are keeping an eye on developments, the French club could hold out for the €40m buy-out clause written into his contract.

The Blues are also intent on bringing 17-year-old Argentine wide player Lucas Ocampos to London but Manchester United are interested in the River Plate sensation.

Ivorian-born England U19 international Wilfried Zaha blew hot and cold during Crystal Palace’s 1-0 win over Cariff City in the Carling Cup semi-final first leg on Tuesday night but Newcastle are still very much on the trail of the teenager.

They will have to hold off on a transfer until the second leg of that tie is played on January 24 though.

As he is likely to lose Gary Cahill any day now, Bolton boss Owen Coyle should really be lining up a replacement for the centre-half.

Coyle has played down premature reports that Tim Ream is set to leave New York Red Bulls and undergo a medical with the Trotters but has admitted that he is interested in the player. So watch this space.

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Ben Blake

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