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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 30, 2006

Blackburn boss warns want-away Neill

Blackburn boss Mark Hughes has warned defender Lucas Neill he will be leaving in the January transfer window only if the circumstances suit Rovers.

Liverpool and Barcelona are reportedly leading the chase for the Australia international, who has made it clear he is anxious to move on to a new challenge.

But Hughes insists Neill's departure is far from certain, because he intends to keep his strongest possible squad together in order to revive Rovers' flagging Barclays Premiership fortunes.

Hughes said: 'I have said all along it is a situation I would like to resolve in a positive way for us, which would be Lucas staying.

'But the longer it goes on the less likely that is to happen, so we will have to look at things - but Lucas is aware of the situation.

'He understands that if in January the situation arises where I feel the squad will not be weakened then I will look at it. But if that situation does not develop he will not be moving.'

Meanwhile, Hughes has managed to tempt South African captain Aaron Mokoena to commit his future to the club - the midfielder due to sign a new three-year contract tomorrow.

Mokoena has struggled to hold down a regular place in the first team but insisted today: 'Signing a new contract is the highlight of my career and shows that the manager believes in me.

'Mark Hughes has been a great player and he knows exactly what top players need. I don't think it will take me very long to achieve the rest of my goals here.'

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