Blackburn Rovers Vs Wigan Athletic, Wed 27 Jan 2010

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Benni McCarthy is absent and Chris Samba suspended for Blackburn's home match with Wigan but David Dunn has recovered from a knock and is available.

McCarthy has not appeared for training for three days as he tries to force through a move to West Ham, but Jason Roberts comes back into the Rovers squad although midfielder Vince Grella is still sidelined with a thigh strain.

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Boss Sam Allardyce has condemned McCarthy as "unprofessional" and said his conduct is symptomatic of selfishness and disloyalty shown by many players.

Allardyce also warned that if the clubs did not reach an agreement, McCarthy might encounter ill-feeling from the other Rovers players.

Allardyce said: "What he's done is unprofessional but we will only do what is the best thing for Blackburn Rovers.

"It shows you that the only loyalty a player has got is to himself.

"This is what we deal with today in football, there's not such a thing as loyalty as there used to be in the older days when I was a player.

"It's more about a selfish attitude they have and that's not just about Benni, that's all players today. If they want something they do anything to try and get it."

Allardyce said McCarthy, 32, may have been badly advised.

He added: "If he is trying to manipulate a move by staying away, it's not the right thing to do.

"Sometimes players will get advised wrongly and I think whoever is advising him to stay away is very wrong as he's done himself no favours."

Asked what his attitude would be to McCarthy if he was not sold this transfer window, Allardyce said several of the squad may have negative feelings.

He added: "It's not just about whether I would be happy to have him back in the squad it's whether the other players would be happy, because I don't it's right thing to do.

"We will cross that bridge when we come to it but people forget about things very quickly in football."

Blackburn have been linked with Turkey international Yildiray Basturk from Stuttgart, Stoke's James Beattie and Eidur Gudjohnsen, once with Allardyce at Bolton and now at Monaco.

Allardyce hinted at interest in the trio, saying: "If those players are available we may start negotiations but the first thing would be to contact the club."

Wigan goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic is poised for his Premier League debut at Blackburn after Chris Kirkland was ruled out for a fortnight with an injured collarbone.

The Serbia international, on loan from Sporting Lisbon until the end of the season, made his debut in Saturday's 2-2 FA Cup draw at League Two side Notts County.

Midfielders Hendry Thomas (suspended for the FA Cup) and Paul Scharner (ankle and knee injury) return but captain Mario Melchiot is likely to miss out again with a broken nose.

Villarreal expect Marco Ruben's transfer to Wigan to be completed shortly.

The clubs have reached a preliminary agreement for the Argentinian striker to join the Barclays Premier League club.

"Ruben is already in England and we expect his transfer to be completed either this morning or later today," Villarreal's press officer Hernan Sanz told Press Association Sport.

"The clubs have reached an agreement and all that is needed is for the player to put pen to paper."

The Spanish outfit did not reveal the transfer fee although reports claim the 23-year-old will join Wigan in a #7million deal, signing a four-and-a-half-year contract.

Ruben himself as already given a farewell interview with Villarreal's website, saying he was quickly able to agree terms with Wigan.

"I found out eight or nine days ago, and since then the club have continued with negotiations with my agent and he told me it was done and all that was needed was my signature," Ruben said.

"I am happy to take this opportunity because it is a good coach (Roberto Martinez) and a great team."

Ruben joined Villarreal from River Plate in January 2008, but he has never played for the first team, being first loaned to Recreativo Huelva for 18 months, before this year being assigned to Villarreal B, for whom he has scored nine goals this season.

Ruben's signing could signal the end of Jason Scotland's unimpressive spell at Wigan since he followed manager Roberto Martinez from Swansea in the summer.

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

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