Contract comfort for Rovers
Samba and Nelsen among those set to pen new deals at Ewood
By Chris Burton. Last Updated: January 24, 2011 2:50pm
Samba: Talks ongoing
Steve Kean has revealed that a number of players, including Chris Samba and Ryan Nelsen, are to pen new deals at Blackburn.
Rovers appeared to be a club in turmoil at the turn of the year, with the shockwaves of Sam Allardyce's controversial departure from the club still reverberating around Ewood Park.
New owners Venky's were yet to convince a sceptical support that they had the best interests of the club at heart, with the Indian poultry firm doing little to endear themselves to the locals.
Senior members of the Blackburn squad, such as Samba and Nelsen, openly voiced their anger at the manner in which the club was being run, suggesting they were poised for imminent exits.
Opinions have altered considerably, though, over recent weeks, with ambitious plans off the field being matched by an improvement in results on it.
Calm has now been restored to the Ewood Park camp and coach Kean has revealed that those who were quick to speak out against the new regime are now close to committing their future to the club.
"I think when the change came there was a bit of confusion and shock for everybody, and they were both [Nelsen and Samba] quite vocal in their understanding of how that happened," the Rovers boss told Sky Sports News.
"Since then we have tried to stabilise it. I went out to India a few times to get some information on what the owners want to do with the club and I fed that back to the senior players.
"If we can get the club captain, Ryan Nelsen, on a long-term deal, and I spoke with Chris yesterday, then hopefully we can put something together for him. If we can get the team captain as well as the club captain on long-term deals, that's going to be fantastic for everybody."
On Samba, who revealed that he was looking to move on in the wake of Allardyce's dismissal, Kean added: "We are very, very close. It will probably be later on today [Monday] or tomorrow that we can get something solid to him. Hopefully he will then put pen to paper."
Samba and Kean are not the only ones currently in contract talks, though, with Blackburn hoping a number of key men will agree fresh terms over the coming weeks.
Kean said: "As well as Chris and Ryan, we are also close to agreeing a deal with Michel Salgado, Paul Robinson and Bunny [Mark Bunn], our reserve goalkeeper who has come in and done really well.
"To get all of those players re-signed on long-term deals, as well as getting Roque Santa Cruz and Jermaine Jones, is fantastic for the club."