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By ESPN Staff

Allardyce: Warnock will leave, but for right price

Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce has resigned himself to losing defender Stephen Warnock but he insists the player will only be allowed to leave for the right price.

The left-back was dropped for Saturday's defeat to Sunderland after Allardyce revealed the player had been distracted by a bid from Aston Villa.

However, the offer did not match Rovers' valuation and chairman John Williams will drive a hard bargain to ensure the club get what they feel is the right price for the player.

Ironically, the former Liverpool defender has been included in the squad for tomorrow's Carling Cup second round tie at Gillingham because of a growing injury list at Ewood Park.

''Stephen is here today. I think, over the weekend with our injury problems, he has to be included in the squad,'' said Allardyce, who has been down a similar route already when Manchester City came chasing striker Roque Santa Cruz.

In January Rovers held firm despite intense pressure to cash in on their prize asset as they were involved in a relegation battle but they still managed to get £18milion for the Paraguay striker at the end of the season.

''There is no acceptable bid as yet from Aston Villa so he is still a Blackburn player and I need him to travel with the squad tomorrow - at the moment,'' added the Rovers boss.

''Whether that changes or not will be another story between now and the next 24-48 hours.

''We are obviously sat in a very delicate position at the moment.

''Obviously what happens in the next few days will go on what negotiations go on between John Williams and Aston Villa.''

Allardyce would not reveal whether Warnock had actually asked to leave but he has accepted that it is likely to happen before the end of the transfer window.

''I think it is obvious he would like to move to a club of that size without me trying to cover it up,'' he said.

''The problem is we want the value we think Stephen is worth and that is the most important thing from my and this club's point of view.

''I don't think the value is beyond reasonable. If Aston Villa get to where we are going it looks like we might have to lose him.

''I don't want to but as much as I want to keep him it doesn't look like that is going to be the case.''


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