It seems inevitable that Blackburn Rovers will have to sign a centre back in the January transfer window.
With Daniel Ayala, Derrick Williams and Scott Wharton all currently out injured – the latter two for the rest of the season – Rovers are currently down to the bare bones at the heart of their defence.
Perhaps not surprisingly therefore, there has been some speculation about a potential move from the Championship club, to secure a deal for West Brom centre back Cedric Kipre.
Rovers had apparently agreed a fee with Wigan to secure the signing of the Ivorian for around £900,000 during the summer transfer window, only for the Baggies to swoop in and secure a deal for the defender.
Since then however, Kipre has made just two cup appearances, with a change in manager failing to improve his first-team opportunities, meaning a move away from The Hawthorns may not be the worst move for the 24-year-old.
Indeed, it was reported at the start of the window that Rovers had made an enquiry to West Brom about Kipre, but for the moment, it appears as though such a move is unlikely to happen.
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Despite that understandable interest in the West Brom man, Blackburn now look to have turned their attention elsewhere, with recent reports implying that 18-year-old Everton centre back Jarrad Branthwaite has emerged as the Lancashire club’s preferred target.
With the suggestion being that Tony Mowbray’s side are confident of getting that deal done, and hopeful of doing so quickly, it seems as though any interest in Kipre may have been put to one side for now.
As well as Branthwaite, Liverpool’s Sepp van den Berg and Manchester City’s Taylor Harwood-Bellis have also been linked, meaning they are not short on alternative options to Kipre, although it has been indicated that City will be keeping Harwood-Bellis at The Etihad this month.
It is also worth noting that given Mowbray has already revealed that he has had to request extra support from the club’s owners to sign a defender in January – after a busy summer window – you have to wonder whether the club will be able to afford to bring in a senior player such as Kipre.
Admittedly, Mowbray has also hinted that he could attempt to bring in two more defenders this month, and with West Brom apparently keen on a centre back signing of their own – Crystal Palace’s Mamadou Sakho has been linked – meaning it is probably too early to say that there is absolutely no chance of seeing Kipre at Ewood Park between now and the end of the season.
Considering the way things appear to be playing out at the minute however, it does seem rather unlikely.