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Page last updated at 07:22 GMT, Friday, 11 July 2008 08:22 UK

Fowler to link up with Blackburn

Robbie Fowler
Fowler joined Cardiff last year after being released by Liverpool

Robbie Fowler is joining Blackburn for pre-season training after rejecting a pay-as-you-play deal from Cardiff.

The ex-England striker was expected to sign a new one-year deal with the Bluebirds but told the club on Thursday he would be linking up with Rovers.

Fowler, 33, has not played since December because of a hip injury that required surgery in the United States.

He will be reunited with new Blackburn manager Paul Ince - an old friend since their time together at Anfield.

Fowler, who joins Rovers on their pre-season tour to Germany, scored six goals in 16 games in an injury-hit season at Ninian Park after joining Cardiff from Liverpool in 2007.

"Robbie was all set to sign up at Cardiff, but at the last minute Paul Ince came in and handed him a chance to return to the Premier League," said Fowler's agent George Scott.

"He started in the Premier League and it seems right to finish his career in the Premier League."

The forward is expected to spend several weeks with Blackburn while Ince decides whether to offer him a deal.

A club spokesman told BBC Radio Lancashire: "Robbie has merely been invited on the pre-season tour by manager Paul Ince.

"At this stage he has not signed any contract and will join the squad to allow the club to assess his fitness."

Cardiff chairman Peter Ridsdale was philosophical about Fowler's decision and told BBC Radio Wales: "We signed him last year with a year's option but at this stage in his career it's understandable that he accepts an offer to go to the Premier League.

"We have to thank Robbie and move on, he goes with our best wishes.

"His image rights were important to us last year but now we're looking at what he could do on the field.

"Robbie's move frees up budget for us to look for another striker.

We're pretty close to signing a new striker in a deal that I've been working on all week. When that is done we will look for another front man to take Robbie's place."

Fowler made his Liverpool debut as an 18-year-old in 1993, scoring 171 goals in 330 games before joining Leeds for 11m in 2001 and then Manchester City for 6m in 2003.

He returned for a second spell at Anfield in January 2006, although his starting appearances were limited.

see also
Cardiff to offer Fowler new deal
17 Jun 08 |  Cardiff
Fowler hit by fresh injury blow
21 Dec 07 |  Cardiff
Fowler seeks to solve hip worry
09 Nov 07 |  Cardiff
Bluebirds welcome thrills Fowler
24 Jul 07 |  Cardiff
BBC Sport Wales coverage
24 Dec 06 |  Wales

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