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Samba submits transfer request

The Congolese centre-back missed Saturday's 3-1 victory over Fulham through illness, with Rovers boss Steve Kean adamant that his captain will not be sold in January as the club hover precariously above the relegation zone.

Samba has been linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain, Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers, whose new manager Mark Hughes brought him to Ewood Park from Hertha Berlin in 2007.

"I have officially requested a transfer from Blackburn Rovers Football Club. I have personally informed the owners, manager and executives at the club that I want to leave in this transfer window," read the request, as reported by Sky Sports News.

"In my five years at Blackburn Rovers I have always given 100 percent in every game I have played. I have had several opportunities to leave but have always stayed.

"I have decided now is the right time to pursue a new challenge and have asked the club to respect my decision and allow me to leave.

"I thank the fans for their support and I hope they feel I have served them well and their club well."

Spurs are expected to step up their interest in the defender, who has made 161 league appearances for Blackburn scoring 16 goals, after Chelsea beat them to the signing of Bolton Wanderers' England international Gary Cahill.

Manager Harry Redknapp recently reaffirmed his admiration for Samba, confidently claiming that the White Hart Lane outfit would beat London rivals QPR to his signature if the opportunity presented itself.

"Samba is a good player. If Tottenham wanted him we would have a big chance, with no disrespect to QPR," he said, as reported by the Daily Mail.

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