Inthe know

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - by Neil Fissler

BLACK­BURN ROVERS are brac­ing them­selves for a dead­line day raid from Swansea City for striker Jor­dan Rhodes.

The Pre­mier League out­fit first ap­proached Rovers two weeks ago about a deal for the for­mer Ip­swich Town and Hud­der­s­field Town goal poacher.

Black­burn, who are op­er­at­ing un­der a trans­fer em­bargo, want £12m for Rhodes who was a tar­get for Hull City last sum­mer.

The Scot­tish in­ter­na­tional was part of the Rovers side that knocked Swansea out of the FA Cup at Ewood Park last week­end.

The Swans are flush with cash af­ter sell­ing Wil­fried Bony to Manch­ester City be­fore he went away on African Cup of Na­tions duty at the start of last month.

Rhodes has been a tar­get for Southamp­ton and Queens Park Rangers in the last month as it seems that he will fi­nally get a chance to play at the high­est level.

The 24-year-old has been one of the most pro­lific scor­ers out­side the Pre­mier League in re­cent sea­sons de­spite only man­ag­ing nine goals this cam­paign. MID­DLES­BROUGH have asked Hull City if winger Tom Ince is avail­able for a spell out on loan for the rest of the sea­son.

Ince is also a tar­get for Derby County but Hull are ask­ing for a £300,000 loan fee be­fore they al­low the son of Manch­ester United and Eng­land mid­fielder Paul to leave. BIRM­ING­HAM CITY are hold­ing out for £4.5m be­fore let­ting winger De­marai Gray leave.

The cash-strapped Blues have re­jected four bids from Bournemouth for Gray, who has been on Liver­pool’s radar for much of the last 12 months.

The Cher­ries, who are push­ing for pro­mo­tion to the Pre­mier League, are likely to make an­other at­tempt to sign Gray be­fore Mon­day’s 11pm dead­line.

But they are set to face com­pe­ti­tion from Blues’ lo­cal ri­vals West Bromwich Al­bion, who were im­pressed with Gray when he played against them in the FA Cup last week­end.

Bag­gies boss Tony Pulis is now weigh­ing up a bid for Gray and would be able to of­fer the 20-year-old the chance of play­ing in the Pre­mier League.

Birm­ing­ham boss Gary Rowett wants Gray to stay at St An­drew’s un­til the sum­mer but it looks in­creas­ingly likely that that won’t be hap­pen­ing.

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