Soccer: Blackburn latest club linked to Reid

By Terry Maddaford

Winston Reid. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Winston Reid. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Tipped by All Whites assistant coach Brian Turner as one of the World Cup players capable of taking a huge step up, it is little surprise that Winston Reid is continually being linked to a move to one of Europe's big leagues.

Ryan Nelsen's Blackburn Rovers joined that list yesterday with rumours the outstanding defender was in the sights of manager Sam Allardyce, who was apparently weighing up the possibility of reuniting the All Whites defenders in the Rovers rearguard.

Earlier, Reid, 21, was being touted as a possibility to join fellow English Premier League club Arsenal but with French defender Laurent Koscielny reportedly signed by the club yesterday from French club FC Lorient for £8.5-£10 million ($18.4-$21.6 million), any chance Reid might have had could well have disappeared.

Reid has been the centre of attention since his dramatic last-ditch header snatched a 1-1 draw for New Zealand in their World Cup opening match with Slovakia.

In a story on the Blackburn website under the heading "Illness Could Not Stop the Admiral" - a reference to Nelsen's gutsy performance after climbing out of his sickbed to lead the All Whites to their 0-0 draw with Paraguay in last Friday's World Cup outing, it was revealed that Allardyce had re-signed Norwegian striker Morten Pedersen.

Allardyce is apparently keen to make other signings in the post-World Cup scramble.

While Nelsen joined his wife in the United States to await the birth of their second child, his Blackburn teammates are back in training.

The club has friendlies planned from July 10.

They start the new English season at home to Everton on August 14 before playing Birmingham City away a week later.

Should Reid join the club he could be back Downunder this month as Blackburn are due to play Rangers, AEK Athens and Sydney FC in the Sydney 2010 Festival of Football from July 25-31.

Reid's name has also been linked with a move to Italy's Serie A with Cagliari and Palermo mentioned as clubs interested in the defender.

"One of the reasons I decided to represent New Zealand at the World Cup was to attract more attention," said Reid, who has been playing his football with Danish club FC Midtjylland after playing for Denmark in age group internationals.

Meanwhile, Canterbury United midfielder Aaron Clapham, one of eight All Whites not to see any action at the World Cup, is poised to trial at A-League club Newcastle Jets. He has also been linked with the trials at North Queensland Fury.

Clapham's All Whites teammate Jeremy Brockie has signed a two-year contract with the Jets.

- NZ Herald

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