Tottenham star set for Blackburn switch
Published 23:44 25/08/09 By By Alan Nixon
Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce is making a shock £1.5 million swoop for Tottenham's unhappy Pascal Chimbonda - as he opens the door for Steven Warnock to join Aston Villa.
Allardyce made his move for wandering star Chimbonda on Tuesday and hopes to tie up the deal for the Frenchman who is no longer in Harry Redknapp's plans after his second spell at Spurs turned sour.
Chimbonda can play anywhere across the back four and gives Allardyce the cover he needs in those areas where he has the Warnock issue to settle and an injury worry over skipper Ryan Nelsen.
The fact that Chimbonda is versatile and cheap suits Blackburn's current needs. Allardyce demanded that a replacement was found before Warnock was allowed to go.
Warnock will be cleared to speak to Villa shortly, with Martin O'Neill's club ready to pay around £8million for the former Liverpool defender who wants to leave Ewood Park for bigger things.
Allardyce was closing in on the Chimbonda deal on Tuesday night, with Spurs keen to sell him after his buy-back move from Sunderland in the last window failed to work out.
Warnock was left out of the Carling Cup clash against Gillingham in case he picked up an injury. He has been waiting for the go-ahead to quit for Villa since last week.
Chimbonda has to sort out personal terms at Rovers, but is likely to be interested in the move for a better shot at first-team football which Allardyce can give him.
Meanwhile, Allardyce is still looking for another defender, with Ivory Coast internationals Steve Gohouri from Borussia Munchengladbach and Hibs' Sol Bamba in his sights.
Gohouri is also being chased by Portsmouth, while Allardyce's spies watched giant Bamba in action in the SPL last weekend. Both are cheap and could come as squad men with worries over Nelsen's long-term fitness.