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Page last updated at 15:38 GMT, Thursday, 3 April 2008 16:38 UK

Boss defiant over Bentley future

David Bentley
Bentley has scored 19 times for Blackburn in 107 appearances (Getty)

Blackburn manager Mark Hughes has reiterated his desire to keep England midfielder David Bentley at Ewood Park.

The 23-year-old is currently in talks over an improved contract and Hughes is adamant the final decision should not be down to the player.

"The only people who make the decision are myself and the chairman," he told BBC Radio Lancashire.

"We've had this conversation before and he's not leaving. So that's the end of the story."

We've opened negotiations with him now because he's a full England international

Blackburn boss Mark Hughes

Bentley's current deal runs until 2011 and Hughes said his determination to retain his services should not be questioned.

"The fact that we're offering him a new contract just illustrates the progress he has made.

"It's not a case he's out of contract, he's still got three years left. We've opened negotiations with him now because he's a full England international."

The Peterborough-born player has previously admitted his wish to play regular European football in order to gain England recognition.

Liverpool are thought to have already expressed their interest in signing Bentley should he decide to move on.


see also
Bentley hints at Blackburn exit
01 Apr 08 |  Blackburn Rovers


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