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Jan 4, 2011

Rovers affirm Ronaldinho interest

Blackburn have now confirmed that they are interested in signing AC Milan star Ronaldinho.

Rovers ready for Ronaldinho and Beckham

• Venky's dismiss Ronaldinho talk
• Blog: January to define Rovers
• Blackburn join Ronaldinho race
• Daily transfer blog
• Latest January moves

Ronaldinho, 30, appears certain to leave Milan during the January window and travelled to Brazil at the weekend to negotiate with former club Gremio, with Flamengo and Palmeiras also having shown interest.

However, reports emerged to suggest Blackburn, now under the ownership of Indian company Venky's, would make an attempt to take the player to Ewood Park, with agent Roberto de Assis claiming Rovers had been in contact.

Venky's came out to deny the stories - "There is no interest at all," director Venkatesh Rao said - but the company's chairperson, Anuradha Desai, has now revealed there is interest.

Desai told BBC Radio Lancashire: "He is keen to play in the EPL [English Premier League] and I think that goes in our favour."

Venky's office in Brazil is negotiating with the player.

Desai said: "To be precise [it is] €7.6 million (£6.5 million) for the first year and about €8.5 million (£7.2 million) for the second and third years."

Boss Steve Kean added: "I know there has been contact made by the owners to representatives of Ronaldinho but I don't know how far down the line it is and whether it will actually happen.

"If any Premier League manager was asked if they wanted to sign someone who has been World Player of the Year twice they would be interested. That is something that puts us on the map in terms of trying to bring players of that stature to the club.

"Everyone should look at it as a positive because if we can attract players - maybe not that individual if it doesn't happen - but players of that stature I think it has been a long time since we have been able to do that."

Blackburn have also expressed interest in signing David Beckham on loan from LA Galaxy.

Kean told the Lancashire Telegraph: "We are close to signing two, possibly three, although the third is the outsider.

"Hopefully talks can continue and, with someone like Beckham, someone will get a good player if he comes over here, and if he does come back to this country, he is someone we would be interested in."

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