Date:Saturday January 6 2007
Earlier in the week Lucas Neill's agent Peter Harrison had claimed of mass interest in his client; Blackburn Rovers boss Mark Hughes has now confirmed this although it doesn't mean he will go!
Hughes is more than likely playing hard ball as he plays mind games with Neill's potential suitors but if it isn't in the best interests of Rovers to let Neill go during the current transfer window Hughes won't let him go until the summer! He said:
"There's been interest, as I felt there would be when a player of his calibre becomes available.
"We've been offered significant amounts of money, but I can't spend it. That's the situation we find ourselves in.
"At this stage of the season it's very difficult to buy the quality needed to replace Lucas.
"As I've said before it's important we do not become weaker. If that were to happen by Lucas going then I wouldn't allow it.
"From a business point of view it has to make sense, but it also has to make sense from my point of view as well.
"The situations that have been presented to me haven't convinced me we will be stronger if we let him go in this window.
"That might change and different circumstances might prevail, so we will have to wait and see.
"I'll look at every situation. It's very early in the window and things may develop in the coming days or weeks.
"But if the situation isn't right then we will wait until the summer."
It is still very likely that Neill will leave, and will leave during the current window despite possible intimations to the contrary from Sparky.
If rumours of potential £5 million offers form the likes of Newcastle United are true (although if that kind of money had been offered Sparky would have snapped their hand off wouldn't he?) then as much as this may well anger many, many Rovers fans as this is by no means the "step forward" Neill has been looking for I'm sure the fact that we'll get so much for a player we will get nothing for in the summer will soften the blow, won't it…
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Date:Saturday January 6 2007
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