BENFICA MISSED OUT ON GILLESPIE
By David Allen
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The Northern Ireland international has had an unhappy time at Ewood Park, and recently had a loan spell at Wigan Athletic.
However, that was never intended to become a permanent move, with the former Manchester United and Newcastle star wanting to establish himself at the top level once again.
His chances at First Division promotion challengers Rovers seem to be limited, and it emerged that a loan move to Portugal until the end of the season, with a view to a permanent switch, was on the cards.
Sporting Lisbon denied an interest in him, and it now appears that Benfica were the club who wanted to sign Gillespie, but were unable to finance the deal.
Gillespie is not the only English-based player to interest Benfica, with Luis Boa Morte - on loan to Fulham from Southampton for the season - a target for a summer move to the Luz Stadium, although the Portuguese club's stretched finances may again scupper a transfer.