Blackburn Rovers boss Steve Kean is facing a big dilemma, with rumours that Junior Hoilett may be heading to the Bundesliga this summer rather than staying in England.
Hoilett, who scored seven goals in 37 appearances last season, is a product of the Blackburn academy, but failed to help the club survive relegation during last term’s torrid Premier League campaign. The Canadian is out of contract at Ewood Park, but due to his age can still be worth something for the Championship side.
For if the 22-year-old moves to another English club, Blackburn can expect a hefty compensation package, or ‘development fee’. Kean is adamant he can keep the winger in the North West and tie him down to a new deal, but however large the “very good offer” Rovers have tabled, it is sure to be beaten by a Premier League or Bundesliga side.
QPR and Borussia Monchengladbach are both interested in the Canadian, who recently flew out to Germany for another round of contract talks. A move to the Bundesliga club would spell the worst possible scenario for Kean, who is looking to rebuild a depleted squad ahead of an arduous Championship campaign.
Punters on Betfair.com appear certain that Rovers will be competing near the top end of the division, but a player like Hoilett could be the difference between pushing for the playoffs or mid-table mediocrity.
If he does leave without a compensation injection for Kean’s transfer budget, Rovers will face a barren summer of mediocre signings.
Already in the doors at Ewood Park is the promising Leon Best, who arrives from Newcastle with something to prove. But Best’s £3m price tag is a hefty sum for a club that need to adapt quickly to life outside the Premier League. With Danny Murphy and Nuno Gomes also fresh inclusions, Kean may not be able to afford the loss of Hoilett’s compensation, as wage demands remain at Premier League levels. Their promotion odds at betfair.com will either take a steep dive or upward surge in the coming weeks, depending on Hoilett’s decision about his future.