Blackburn Rovers have rejected a swap deal for Watford striker Andre Gray that would have seen Adam Armstrong travel in the opposite direction, according to The Sun journalist Alan Nixon.
A total of seven Premier League clubs are said to be monitoring 24-year-old Armstrong, who scored 28 goals in the Championship last season and helped to steer Blackburn away from danger last season.
West Ham United, Fulham, Newcastle United, Norwich City and Brighton & Hove Albion have all expressed an interest in the Blackburn forward – but Southampton and Watford are thought to be leading the race after engaging in advanced negotiations with the Championship outfit.
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The Saints are reported to have already had a bid rejected for Armstrong – but recently promoted Watford have gone down a different route and offered Tony Mowbray’s side a potential replacement as part of a swap deal.
Andre Gray is reported to be the sweetener in this potential deal, with the 30-year-old scoring five goals and picking up one assist in 30 Championship appearances last season and has been a regular for the Hornets since he arrived at Vicarage Road in 2017.
Armstrong’s deal at Ewood Park expires next summer so the Championship side might be willing to cash in on the 24-year-old this summer.
Andre Gray’s record last season isn’t all that impressive compared to Armstrong’s record, so you can’t blame Blackburn for rejecting this deal, especially with the sell-on clause and the fee likely to be lower due to this makeweight.
The 30-year-old is a solid Championship player – but Tony Mowbray may need two strikers to come in to fill the massive void that would be left by Armstrong if he departs Lancashire this summer.
At this point with just one year left to go on his contract and clubs able to offer Armstrong a pre-contract agreement in a matter of months, leaving Blackburn potentially penniless from this deal, they may have no other option but to sell him before the end of August.
This would depend on whether the 24-year-old would be willing to sign a new contract – but that realistically won’t be happening with the Premier League interest he’s generating.