Rovers defender free to leave

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Blackburn have told full-back Pascal Chimbonda he can leave the club in the January transfer window.

Rovers have decided not to renew the Frenchman's contract when it expires at the end of the season and are happy to let the player leave now. The 31-year-old, who was linked with West Ham last summer, was at fault for one of Dimitar Berbatov's five goals in last week's 7-1 thrashing at Manchester United.

Manager Sam Allardyce said: "We are not going to renew his contract. His determination is to find a new contract and we feel for both concerned it is better to let him see what he can get in January."

Chimbonda joined Blackburn in summer 2009 after previous spells with Wigan and Sunderland and two stints at Tottenham.

The news is the first indication that changes at Ewood Park are imminent following the club's recent takeover by Indian firm Venky's.

Allardyce, whose side are 13th in the Barclays Premier League, is also hoping to strengthen his squad next month. He has already confirmed his interest in bringing striker Roque Santa Cruz back to the club from Manchester City.

"All I said was if Roque was available we would be interested," said Allardyce.

"There has been no progress on it. In the next seven to 10 days I will speak to the chairman about the way we go forward in January."

Blackburn have been linked with Espanyol forward Dani Osvaldo.

But Allardyce said: "We send scouts out every week - it is no different. It is just that the January window is nearly open and speculation starts. If he was a player I was interested in I wouldn't tell you anyway."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Blackburn Rovers
Premier League
Pascal Chimbonda

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