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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 July 2007, 12:46 GMT 13:46 UK
Blackburn deny McCarthy 'no-show'
Benni McCarthy in action for Blackburn
Striker McCarthy had a brilliant first season at Blackburn
Blackburn have denied suggestions that striker Benni McCarthy failed to turn up for pre-season training on Monday.

The 29-year-old South African was reported to have missed the first day of pre-season, but Rovers have moved quickly to play down the speculation.

"We wish to make it absolutely clear Benni was not absent from training and turned up as scheduled," said a statement on the Blackburn website.

McCarthy has repeatedly said he would leave to join a Champions League team.

He has been linked with Chelsea, whose manager Jose Mourinho won the Champions League at Porto, with McCarthy in his squad.

McCarthy scored 18 goals in the Premier League last season.

He was the second highest scorer in the league behind Chelsea's Didier Drogba in his first season in England, helping Rovers to a 10th-place finish.

606: DEBATE

Speaking in June, McCarthy said: "If the opportunity does come to go and play for a team where you can move up a level and play Champions League football, that will always be my dream.

"If that opportunity occurs to go and play for a team like that, then I would love for my management to look at the possibility and look in their heart to make it possible to make a move like that."

McCarthy counts Celta Vigo and Ajax, as well as Porto, among his former clubs.

SEE ALSO
Blackburn seal swoop for Rigters
02 Jul 07 |  Blackburn Rovers
Blackburn sign Faroes goalkeeper
02 Jul 07 |  Blackburn Rovers
McCarthy ponders Blackburn future
12 May 07 |  Blackburn Rovers
Blackburn sign striker McCarthy
28 Jul 06 |  Blackburn Rovers
Porto 3-0 Monaco
26 May 04 |  Champions League


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