Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray has insisted that Adam Armstrong’s absence from Rovers’ pre-season friendly against AFC Fylde on Saturday was down to fitness and not transfer-related.
Armstrong is a man in-demand this summer and the forward has been linked with a move to the likes of West Ham and Newcastle United.
While there have also been reports that Norwich City and Southampton are also holding an interest in the striker following his goal-scoring exploits for Blackburn in the Championship last term.
It has been reported that Southampton have been the first team to make a move for the forward this summer and it is believed that they have had an initial offer turned down by Blackburn for Armstrong.
However, according to Hampshire Live, Southampton are preparing to come back in with an improved second offer as the Saints aim to beat off the competition for his signature.
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Blackburn faced AFC Fylde in a pre-season friendly on Saturday and Armstrong was one noticeable absentee from the squad. Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph, Mowbray insisted that was down to fitness rather than transfer-related.
He said: “Just like the ones I said, he wasn’t fit so he wasn’t here, there’s no problem.
“Adam worked really hard in training in Scotland and I am not taking a chance with any of the players, Ayala trained hard in Scotland, and Adam just felt a bit stiff after the work he has put in so it wasn’t worth bringing Adam when there are some Under-23s players who I wanted to have a look at.”
This is an encouraging update from Mowbray regarding Armstrong because there would have been some concerns amongst supporters that the forward’s absence against AFC Fylde might have been due to transfer interest from Southampton or others. It is likely that this is going to be an ongoing transfer saga until his future is resolved either way though this summer.
Southampton seem to be determined to try and secure a move for the forward this summer if they can do and Blackburn are going to struggle to keep hold of him due to his contractual situation. However, at least he is not seemingly refusing to take part in pre-season and instead was absent just through injury which means there is a chance he could yet feature for the club again.
Blackburn can not have this situation hanging over them all summer though and they need to resolve the future of Armstrong as soon as they possibly can. That will help their preparations for next season and avoid Mowbray fielding questions on him after every pre-season friendly.