Allardyce hopes to tie up deal for Norwegian midfielder

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Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce hopes Morten Gamst Pedersen will sign a new contract within the next few days.

Pedersen's current deal at Ewood Park expires in the summer and he has been linked with a number of clubs from around Europe. The Norwegian midfielder - who joined Rovers in 2004 - has struck five goals in all competitions this season and Allardyce is keen for Pedersen to extend his time with the club.

Allardyce said: "We have got negotiations ongoing, on a constant basis, and I'm hoping that by the middle of next week or the end of next week, we will have a decision one way or the other."

One player the manager is less sure about is Yildiray Basturk.

Allardyce has indicated that Basturk, who is still yet to feature for Rovers since arriving on a short-term deal from Stuttgart in January, could still be given a chance to prove his worth before the end of the season.

But even with safety secured in the Barclays Premier League and only four games to go, Allardyce remains committed to putting out his strongest team and confirmed that the Turkish midfielder would be unlikely to play any part in Saturday's match at home against Everton.

Asked if he felt he needed to take a look at Basturk in first-team action before making a decision about the player's future at Ewood Park, Allardyce said: "Possibly, yes, but I don't think in this game.

"My ambition at home is to try and get to 10 wins. Yily has trained very hard and it is very unfortunate (for him) that because everyone has been doing so well in his short time here, it's been difficult to put him in to a Premier League game.

"We want to protect our home record, win the game and keep our undefeated run going, so I will be picking the strongest side I can.

"Maybe later on, if we get three points against Everton, I can look at it against Wolves or Arsenal, or Villa after that."

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Morten Gamst Pedersen
Blackburn Rovers
Premier League

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