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Defender could follow Phil Jones through exit door after club's owners decided against legal action with Manchester United following controversial signing of the youngster

Blackburn co-owner Anuradha Desai hopes to keep defender Chris Samba at the club, despite his ambitions to play for Arsenal.

The Gunners are in advanced talks to sign Samba, and Bolton defender Gary Cahill, as exclusively revealed by Goal.com UK on Thursday.

Desai, leader of the Venkys Group that own Blackburn, indicated that Rovers brass hope to retain the Congan for another season.

However, Desai indicated the player's heart may already be set on a move to north London.

"We don't want to let Chris go," Desai told the Daily Mail. "I'm confident that we can keep him and I hope he'll stay.

"I know he has an ambition to play for Arsenal but I hope we can keep him for another year at least and prove our own ambition."

Desai also claimed Blackburn owners decided to let Phil Jones move to Manchester United for £20 million out of interest for the player's career.

The co-owners met with club lawyers and officials recently to consider legal action against the Red Devils, but decided not to prolong the controversial process.

"We have reasons to believe that the player's agent and maybe the player had been in touch [with United] for two to three months before permission was granted," Desai said.

"I was ready to take Manchester United on, ready to go to a tribunal if that's what it led to.

"But we spoke at length to [Blackburn manager] Steve Kean and we knew Phil wanted to go to United.

"We concluded that the person who would be most damaged by a delay and legal action was Phil.

"That wasn't fair on him. We wish Phil well."

Jones has impressed on international duty with the England Under-21 side and is expected to feature in the must-win game against the Czech Republic in the European Championships on Sunday.

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