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Football | Barclays Premier League

Venky's deny blame for Samba sale



Venky's, the Indian poultry and pharmaceutical firm that owns Premier League strugglers Blackurn Rovers, have denied they want to sell other players following the exit of Christopher Samba.

Last week defender Samba, who had been Rovers' captain, joined Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala, but Venkys representative and Blackburn director Vineeth Rao was adamant his departure would not be the first of many from Ewood Park.

"There are no plans like that there, that is ridiculous," Rao told Wednesday's Lancashire Telegraph.

"There are no plans to sell any more key players, why would there be? Our immediate focus is on staying up in the Premier League.

"We hope Chris Samba will be the last key departure. There are no plans to sell any more key players because we want to improve the squad."

Samba, who joined Blackburn in 2007, handed in a transfer request last month.

It was initially rejected by Rovers chiefs, but he eventually signed for Anzhi on Friday, having not played for Rovers since January 2.

Blackburn manager Steve Kean has said the 27-year-old Congo international's desire to leave played a big part in the deal, and Rao added Venky's had wanted Samba to stay.

"It was not even our intention to sell Chris Samba," Rao said. "We did not want to sell him.

"We wanted him on the pitch because he has been a big player but in the end we had to respect his wishes because he wanted to leave."

Blackburn have been struggling throughout the season and are currently second from bottom in the Premier League.

Kean, a controversial appointment following the dismissal of Sam Allardyce in 2010, has faced repeated calls from fans to resign this season and last week he revealed a bodyguard accompanies him at all times following a vitriolic campaign to have him sacked as Rovers boss.

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