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Sam Allardyce open to Benni McCarthy exit

Benni McCarthy will be allowed to leave Blackburn Rovers for the right offer in January, but only if Sam Allardyce can find an adequate replacement.

McCarthy's future at Ewood Park has been cast into some doubt after his agent revealed the 31-year-old is keen to find alternative employment at a club that will offer him regular first-team football.

Under Allardyce this season, McCarthy has been restricted to just one league start and the Rovers manager understands that his player is frustrated.

However, Allardyce will require any buying club to match McCarthy's asking price, reported to be £3.5 million, and to have located a replacementif he is to consider a sale.

"There is a price to be met if someone wants to buy Benni McCarthy," Allardyce said. "If the club is happy with that price, we will go to Benni and say, 'We've accepted a deal from a certain club - now it's up to you to see if you can sort your side of it out'. But we would have to have a replacement for him to allow it to develop into him being transferred.

"At his age, I'd understand if he wants to play first-team football and at the moment he can't get it here. If he wants to get it somewhere else, I'd understand that. Benni wants to play football. For me, last year he was excellent, particularly at home, in our plight to climb out of the relegation zone.

"I was looking forward to the start of the season with him but all of a sudden we put David Dunn in at Gillingham away in the hole behind a front man. He played so wonderfully well in that game that we have continued that position for him in the first team. He has grasped that position so well that he is our top, top player at this moment in time."

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