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Page last updated at 09:05 GMT, Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Blackburn make bid for Brazilian playmaker Ronaldinho

Ronaldinho and David Beckham
Blackburn want Ronaldinho and are also competing for David Beckham (right)

Blackburn have made a move for AC Milan playmaker Ronaldinho by offering him a deal worth about £20m over three years.

Venky's, the company that bought Rovers in 2010, says its Brazil office is in talks with the 30-year-old's manager.

"He is keen to play in the EPL [English Premier League] and I think that goes in our favour," Venky's chair Anuradha Desai told BBC Radio Lancashire.

Desai also revealed that Rovers had made attempts to sign David Beckham, 35, on loan from Los Angeles Galaxy.

She added the club were "open whenever he is ready to come".

Beckham has been the subject of much transfer speculation, with several Premier League clubs waiting to hear whether LA Galaxy will release the former England captain on a loan deal during the Major League Soccer off-season.

If we can get solid, reliable foundations and then sprinkle a little bit of magic on top of that, then fantastic

Blackburn manager Steve Kean

The MLS season resumes on 15 March, meaning the ex-Manchester United midfielder would be available to play up to 11 games on a short-term deal.

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has already suggested that Beckham is keen to move to White Hart Lane, while Newcastle are another interested party.

Ronaldinho is in his native Brazil after leaving AC Milan's winter training camp in Dubai - a move that looks set to end his troubled stay at the San Siro.

He moved to Milan from Barcelona in 2008 but lost his place in the starting XI after the club signed forwards Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho last summer.

Brazilian clubs Flamengo, Palmeiras and Gremio are all keen on Ronaldinho but Blackburn have tabled a bid to AC Milan and a tempting offer in terms of wages for the player.

"To be precise [it is] 7.6m euros (£6.5m) for the first year and about 8.5m euros (£7.2m) for the second and third years," confirmed Desai.

Rovers manager Steve Kean said the bid was a statement of intent from the club's Indian owners.

"I know there has been contact made by the owners to representatives of Ronaldinho but I don't know how far down the line it is and whether it will actually happen," he said.

"If any Premier League manager was asked if they wanted to sign someone who has been World Player of the Year twice they would be interested.

"Everyone should look as it as a positive, it has been a long time since we have been able to do that."

However, having had nine senior players unavailable since taking over from Sam Allardyce less than one month ago, Kean is more concerned with building a solid squad.

He said: "The way we are with injuries at the moment and the stability of the squad hopefully we can add four or five other players and then if we can get another big name like that [of Ronaldinho] it will be the icing on the cake.

"When we spoke with the owners we said if there was a potential marquee player - and there are four or five that spring to mind and two have been mentioned in Ronaldinho and David Beckham - we would love to have them here.

"If we can get solid, reliable foundations and then sprinkle a little bit of magic on top of that then fantastic, but it certainly comes from a solid base."

Meanwhile, Desai went on to defend her role at Blackburn since the club was taken over in November by the Rao family in a £43m deal.

Rovers became the first Indian-owned Premier League club when a trust set up by the late former owner Jack Walker to own the club sold its 99.9% holding to the newly formed company Venky's London Limited.

And Desai added: "The impression is I've never watched a football match. I've not watched in a stadium but I have been watching the World Cup in India.

"I have watched hundreds of cricket matches but not live - it's all on TV. To say I don't have any knowledge would be wrong. I am a good listener.


"The fans have to trust us and give us some time and you will see for yourself that we are sincere people, very passionate about the football team and football club and our fans. We will not let you down."

Desai also told Sky Sports News that they were looking at a couple of other players.

"We're thinking of getting Damien Duff back," she said.

The Republic of Ireland and Fulham winger began his career as a trainee at Ewood Park and helped Rovers win the League Cup in 2002 before moving to Chelsea where he won two Premier League titles.

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see also
Lalas questions Beckham loan move
04 Jan 11 |  Football
Beckham deal 'could still happen'
09 Jan 11 |  Premier League
Blackburn sack manager Allardyce
13 Dec 10 |  Blackburn
Blackburn taken over in 43m deal
19 Nov 10 |  Blackburn
Ronaldinho scoops European award
28 Nov 05 |  Football
The wonder of Ronaldinho
21 Dec 04 |  Football

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