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Samba Not For Sale, Insists Kean

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LONDON: Blackburn manager Steve Kean insisted on Monday that Congolese international defender Chris Samba is not for sale — but the player has put in a formal request for a move, his management company said.

Samba, who has been linked with Tottenham, QPR and Paris St Germain, missed Saturday’s win over Fulham after calling in sick the previous day, leading to speculation about his future.

“He’s not for sale, it’s as simple as that,” Kean said. “He’ll be back in again and hopefully ready for Everton.”

Samba — who joined Rovers from German side Hertha Berlin in 2007 — signed a new five-year contract with the club almost a year ago.

Kean said last Friday that two bids had been turned down for the 27-year-old but Samba clearly wants to leave Ewood Park.

In a statement, Samba said: “I have today officially requested a transfer from Blackburn Rovers Football Club. 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 Football Club I have always given 100 per cent 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.”