Blackburn target Kenwyne Jones as Sunderland chase strikers
Published 00:00 09/07/09 By Exclusive by Alan Nixon
Blackburn Rovers boss Sam Allardyce is ready to swoop for Sunderland's giant hit man Kenwyne Jones - if his pal Steve Bruce lands his big-money targets.
Allardyce fancies the Trinidad and Tobago striker as an ideal replacement for Roque Santa Cruz and hopes that Bruce is successful in his chase for Darren Bent and Peter Crouch to make the move possible.
Bruce is in for Bent and Crouch ahead of Allardyce, with Sunderland's extra spending power giving him genuine hope he can land the pair from Tottenham and Portsmouth.
The Rovers chief revealed that he is 'waiting to see what players become available after their clubs make signings - and Jones could suddenly be out of Sunderland's starting line-up.
Jones had a hit-and-miss season at Sunderland and Bruce has shown that he wants to strengthen by bidding for the England pair. He hopes to land Bent from Spurs if the price becomes sensible and work on getting Crouch who would prefer to stay down south.
Allardyce would pay around £8 to £9 million for Jones, whose value has dipped since Tottenham inquired for him in the last transfer window. Spurs have since gone off him.
Rovers have drawn blanks in their chase for strikers to lead the line, with several European targets proving too expensive and top choice Kevin Davies not for sale at Bolton.
Allardyce has been given a kitty to land the right man and is prepared to wait for Jones to become available. He is the type of physical front man he needs for his style of play.
Meanwhile Rovers are giving Andy van der Meyde a chance to win a contract. The former Everton winger is joining their pre-season training camp in a bid to show his fitness.
And Allardyce has also hailed veteran Christian Vieri for being willing to battle for a deal and said: "Joining us shows a certain amount of commitment from him. He is obviously out of condition compared to the rest of the lads, but he wants to play football at the top level.
"He fancies having a go in the Premier League, if he still has that desire and he can adjust to the physical side - even at the grand old age of 36 - then we have got a major player on our hands.
"There is no harm from my point of view in him joining up with the lads and seeing how he progresses. There may be an opportunity where we can both come to an agreement for next season.
"His motivation is that he is still got hunger. It might be a long shot to some but for us and get into the Italy squad for the 2010 World Cup finals."