Christopher Samba has confirmed he wants to leave Blackburn before the end of the current transfer window.
Speculation about Samba's future has increased in the past few days after he was last week quoted in French sports newspaper L'Equipe saying that his club, who have been struggling near the bottom of the Barclays Premier League all season, “doesn't evolve at all”, that “things have not gone as I was told” and that he felt it was “time for a change”.
The defender has been linked with Tottenham, QPR and Paris St Germain, and Rovers manager Steve Kean revealed on Thursday that two bids for the player — believed to be from QPR — had been turned down.
The Scot also stressed that Samba was not for sale, but the 27-year-old club captain has now handed in a transfer request, making clear his desire to quit Ewood Park as soon as possible.
In a statement released by his management company, Samba said: “I have officially requested a transfer from Blackburn Rovers Football Club.
“I have personally informed the owners, manager and executives at the club that I want to leave in this transfer window.
“In my five years at Blackburn Rovers Football Club I have always given 100% in every game I have played. I have had several opportunities to leave but I have always stayed.
“I have decided now is the right time for me to pursue a new challenge and I have asked the club to respect my decision and allow me to leave.
“I thank the fans for their support and I hope they feel I have served them and their club well,” the statement said.
On Saturday Blackburn moved off the foot of the table and out of the relegation zone with a 3-1 victory at home against Fulham.
Samba did not feature in the squad for the match, although afterwards Kean said it was because the France-born Congolese centre-back had complained of severe stomach cramps.
He then expressed his hope that his skipper would be available for next weekend's trip to Everton, but it now appears as if Samba is headed for the exit.