Rovers boss says that Samba's future is at Ewood Park and maintains that Junior Hoilett and Aiyegbeni Yakubu will not be sold during the January transfer windowBlackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean insists Christopher Samba will be staying put after speculation over his future mounted as the centre-back missed out on the FA Cup defeat to Newcastle United following a £5 million bid for his services from Queens Park Rangers.
Kean maintained that Samba had only missed the FA Cup game on Tyneside due to injury and said that he would be going nowhere during the January transfer window despite QPR’s overtures.
“The situation with Chris is simple - he's not for sale,” Kean told reporters at his post-match press conference.
“He is seven or eight months into a five-year contract. He certainly a defender that we feel has got a presence in both boxes. he has held us together at a time when other defenders are out injured and he is a big part of what we are going to try to do in the future so we certainly want to keep him.
“We had already made the decision that he was having treatment on an ankle injury and a bit of a tight hamstring so that was the reason he did not travel. It had nothing to do with the bid. He is our player and we want to keep him at the club.
“I felt that he was developing a nice partnership with Scott Dann before Scott picked up a nasty injury and we want to add to the squad, we don’t want to break it up.”
Kean also played down suggestions that Junior Hoilett, who missed out on the trip to Newcastle, or Aiyegbeni Yakubu, who was an unused substitute, could leave the relegation-threatened club this month.
“The message to other clubs on Yakubu is simple – the Yak is our player,” the Scot said.
“He has been performing very well for us since we brought him in at the very last minute of the last transfer window. He is not for sale. He is very happy but he is carrying a couple of knocks so we want to rest him today and make sure he is fighting fit for the Fulham game next week.”
“As for Junior Hoilett, he is not fit. He trained in Friday in the warm-up but he couldn’t sprint. He is about 75 per cent and much like Martin Olsson over the last few weeks the medical team have said if you did risk it he could rupture it and be out for six to eight weeks.”
Kean was left disappointed after his side took a first-half lead against Newcastle through David Goodwillie but were knocked out of the competition thanks to cracking solo goals from Hatem Ben Arfa and Jonas Gutierrez.
“The way we played in the first half we deserved to be ahead and on reflection we should have been up by more than one goal because we played so well,” Kean said.
“We were good on the break and we are disappointed we did not see the game out and at least take it to a replay because our first-half display merited that.
“We wanted to get through to the next round and everyone could see that from the way we played in the first half. We have a few players coming back from injury and we had to rotate the squad.
“In the last few weeks we have found ourselves in a difficult position in terms of the amount of defenders that are out injured. Now all of a sudden there will be competition for places for the rest of the season. That bodes well for the future.