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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Mar 30, 2006

Tugay to stay with Rovers for another season

Tugay has shaken hands with Blackburn manager Mark Hughes on a new deal which will keep him at Ewood Park for next season.

The 35-year-old midfielder recently rejected a lucrative contract with a club in Qatar due to his desire to play on in the Premiership with Rovers.

Although the former Turkey international no longer plays every game, Hughes has long been convinced of Tugay's ability to hold his own in the top flight.

Although the 12-month deal has yet to be formally signed, a happy Hughes confirmed: 'It's near enough agreed.

'In fact he knocked on my door this afternoon and I shook his hand, so I took that to mean he is happy with the deal and he is going to sign. That's great news for us.

'It means we have a good quality player for next season, and there aren't many of his like in the Premier League these days.

'I don't feel people will take too much notice of his age because he has the ability to set the tone in, and take the sting out of games.

'Given his position and ability, I feel he can influence teams and games for a number of seasons yet.'

Strikers Craig Bellamy and Florent Sinama-Pongolle, meanwhile, should both be fit for Monday's clash with local rivals Wigan at Ewood Park.

Bellamy came off after 70 minutes of Saturday's 1-0 victory at Sunderland with a back strain, while on-loan Liverpool forward Sinama Pongolle missed the Stadium of Light clash through illness.

However, both players returned to training today, with Hughes adding: 'Craig has had treatment in the last few days, and he did the full training session today and looked okay.

'Hopefully there will be no reaction in the morning. I don't anticipate one, and he will be available. As for Flo, he was ill last week, but he trained with Craig and he looked stronger than he has of late.'

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