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Jan, 20, 2011

Blackburn will not sign Riquelme

Blackburn Rovers will not be signing Boca Juniors midfielder Juan Roman Riquelme, ESPNsoccernet sources have revealed, but they are closing in on Birmingham City's Sebastian Larsson.

• Live Transfer blog

The Lancashire Evening Telegraph reported on Thursday morning that Riquelme had moved to the top of the club's wanted list as they search for a marquee signing but, just like their interest in Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho, there is no chance of it coming off.

Riquelme, who only signed a new four-year contract with his hometown club in August, was under consideration as Rovers owners Venky's attempt to orchestrate a signing that will excite the club's supporters.

It is hopelessly unrealistic to believe that the players so far named would consider a move to Ewood Park.

In fact, to add to the surreal transfer goings on, Ronaldinho was already committed to a move to Brazil and signed for Flamengo from AC Milan, while former England captain David Beckham was always lined up by Tottenham.

ESPNsoccernet understands that there are many people trying to sort out the management of the club who are acutely embarrassed by the wide-of-the-mark transfer speculation.

Agent Barry McIntosh, who played a role in bringing Schalke midfielder Jermaine Jones to the club earlier in the week, had claimed Rovers were planning to sign the former Barcelona player.

"I have spoken with Jerome Anderson, who is doing a lot of work for Blackburn Rovers, about Riquelme and it is being thought about," McIntosh was quoted as saying. "He could prove a great alternative to Ronaldinho, but there is nothing definite yet."

Blackburn have made their move for Larsson and an insider has told ESPNsoccernet that the deal looks "probable".

The Sweden international is out of contract at Birmingham in the summer, and so it's in Blues' interest to find a buyer in the January transfer window with Blackburn one of several clubs showing keen interest.

Rovers have tabled an offer of £800,000 for the former Arsenal youngster, and talks will be advanced in the next 48 hours.

Blackburn boss Steve Kean has been busy trying to recruit a string of new players and wants to add Larsson, and the creative midfielder has already rejected a move to Newcastle United.

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