American striker Duncan McGuire’s move to Blackburn Rovers might be delayed until the summer if the club’s appeal against his failed transfer doesn’t succeed. The young player from Orlando City was all set for a move to England, but paperwork issues stopped the deal going through.
Former Premier League champions Blackburn Rovers had arranged a six-month loan deal for the American, who earned rave reviews after his breakthrough campaign in MLS. He was expected to join Billy Koumetio, on loan from Liverpool, and John Fleck of Sheffield United at Ewood Park.
Despite Rovers completing all the necessary paperwork before the February 1 deadline, the transfer did not go through, however. It was said that a £3.25m deal to sign the 22 year old was previously agreed, but the club pulled out while the player was flying over from Orlando.
In one of the most dramatic stories of this winter’s Deadline Day, Rovers tried again to sign the highly-rated MLS forward as the clock ticked down. Their EFL Championship rivals Sheffield Wednesday were also rumoured to be interested before Blackburn made another move for the striker – but the deal fell through in the end.
Blackburn have said that the transfer was not concluded because of ‘an administrative error’, with forms not being ‘processed within the prescribed time’. The EFL governing body also decided that the deal wasn’t completed before the 11pm transfer deadline and so far the transfer is not official, meaning McGuire cannot play for Blackburn.
The EFL Championship club released a statement saying they’ve been in touch with ‘legal representatives and the relevant football authorities’ to sort out the issue. As it stands, forward McGuire has stayed in the UK hoping the loan deal might still happen.
Blackburn may have to wait until the summer to finally conclude a deal for McGuire to join their squad when the transfer window opens again. The club has appealed to the EFL’s Board, with a final decision expected on February 8.
In the midst of all this, head coach John Dahl Tomasson revealed he offered to quit in the summer due to budget cuts, admitting: “It’s a very serious situation. But nothing has changed, it was also very serious in the summer when suddenly there was a hand grenade that changed everything with the cutting of the budget.
“That’s probably why [chief executive] Steve Waggott said [the job] first and foremost this season is to stay in the league,” he added. He also shared his hope for Blackburn to climb higher in the coming months, saying: “I’m a little more ambitious.”
McGuire, who played his first game for the US team against Slovenia in January, scored 13 times in 29 games in his first MLS season. Right now, Blackburn Rovers are languishing in 18th place in the Championship after playing 29 matches.
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