ROVERS CLOSE TO FRIEDEL DEAL

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BLACKBURN ROVERS have moved to try and sign Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Friedel on a free transfer, but they will have to wait to see if they can win a work permit for the player.

The First Division outfit have made a formal application for a permit to the Department of Education and Employment for the American stopper, who is currently unable to enter Britain after his previous application was turned down at the start of the season.

Rovers are confident of landing the 29-year-old as under current regulations he is allowed one more transfer within the UK.

"It's always difficult to say which way these things will go," said Rovers chief executive John Williams. "But we believe in Brad's case there are some extenuating circumstances and those are the circumstances we'll be arguing in his favour."

Ewood Park boss Graeme Souness is keen to sign Friedel after having him coached him when both were at Galatasaray.

"I just feel he's too good a player to miss out on, especially as he's free," said Souness. "I worked with him before so I know how good he is."

Friedel had been linked with a move to German side Energie Cottbus, but the move fell through because of the player's wage demands.