Hughes: Bentley will not be leaving Rovers
Blackburn Rovers manager Mark Hughes insists that England international David Bentley will not be leaving Ewood Park. Bentley had suggested that he may consider ending a three-year stay at Blackburn this summer if Rovers do not qualify for Europe. Bentley had said: 'Time will tell over the next few months what will happen. It's a big decision in my life. You never know in football. Sometimes you have to make strong decisions. 'I want to play European football, I want to play at the top of my game. I want to go to the World Cup in two years and I want to be starting.' Bentley's quest for European competition to enhance his prospects of forcing his way into Fabio Capello's starting line-up with England could yet be met by Blackburn, who are on course to qualify for the Intertoto Cup and a possible subsequent path into the UEFA Cup. And after opening talks over an enhanced deal with the 23-year-old winger, whose current contract runs until June, 2011, Hughes is adamant that one of his star players will not be going anywhere at the end of the season. 'It's not a case of a young man who is out of contract who's ripe for people to come and see if they can acquire his services. That's not the case,' Hughes said. 'At the end of the day he has got three years left on his contract. The only people who make the decision whether or not David Bentley leaves are myself and the chairman. 'We have had this conversation, he's not leaving so that's the end of the story.' Bentley's form for Blackburn this season, both on the right flank and in a more central forward position, has earned the former Arsenal youngster nine goals, three England caps and the chance of an improved deal at Ewood Park. Hughes explained: 'We are offering a new contract just to really illustrate the progress he has made this year and recognise that he is now a full international. We have just opened negotiations on those terms.' While contract talks have been started with Bentley, Hughes admitted that discussions over a new deal for veteran midfielder Tugay are likely to wait until the summer. The former Turkey international will be 38 in August but could still have a role to play with Blackburn, where he has made over 250 appearances since signing from Rangers in July, 2001. Hughes added: 'There are number of things still pending. Tugay's situation is one of those but that won't be decided probably until the end of the year.'