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Rovers puzzled by AWOL Diouf

Blackburn Rovers forward El-Hadji Diouf has failed to turn up to pre-season training, with the club's staff reportedly hitting a brick wall in their attempts to contact the Senegal international.

Diouf, 30, has never been far from the headlines since first arriving in English football nine years ago, and the temperamental attacker is attracting negative press again after apparently going AWOL.

Steve Kean's squad departed for seven-day training camp in Austria last week, but Diouf was not in attendance for the trip and also failed to turn up for the first session back in England on Wednesday.

Club officials have been trying to track him down without success, according to the Daily Telegraph, which quotes a Rovers' source as saying: "We can't find him. Nobody knows where he is."

Diouf spent the second half of last season on loan at Rangers after being reprimanded by the club for a public row with Neil Warnock, which saw the QPR boss label him a "sewer rat" amid claims he verbally abused Rs striker Jamie Mackie during an FA Cup clash in January.

Kean has already admitted that Diouf is not a part of his future plans at Ewood Park, but Rovers are yet to receive any concrete offers for him.

The former Liverpool and Bolton has been one of the most unpopular players of the Premier League era, mainly due to his questionable attitude on the pitch, but his former boss Sam Allardyce is thought to be interested in taking him to West Ham.

Meanwhile, Blackburn are believed to be in pole position to sign Monaco central defender Cedric Mongongu - though French champions Lille are also thought to be in the hunt.

The player's agent, Christophe Mongai, told the Lancashire Telegraph. "He would like to join Blackburn Rovers. There have been a lot of clubs interested in him, but yes, he wants to come to Blackburn and the Premier League.

"That is his wish. The two clubs are in discussions, and the player is in discussions with Monaco and Blackburn. We can't say anything has been sorted yet, but we hope it will be soon. Discussions between everyone will go on.''

Negotiations are also continuing with Argentinian striker Hugo Pavone, who recently bought himself out of his contract with Real Betis to facilitate a move.

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