Blackburn will sell Nikola Kalinic to Dnipro

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Blackburn Rovers have accepted a bid for striker Nikola Kalinic from Ukrainian side Dnipro, manager Steve Kean said on Friday, but are closing in on signing Serbian midfielder Radosav Petrovic.

The English Premier League club are awaiting a work permit to complete the signing of 1.95-metre Petrovic from Partizan Belgrade, after fighting off interest from Italian sides Roma and Fiorentina.

Kean said he wanted to expand the squad further as Rovers look to improve on last season’s 15th place, and was hopeful of holding on to Chris Samba, despite the defender being linked with a move to Arsenal.

But Croatian Kalinic, a regular in the Sam Allardyce era who has fallen out of favour under Kean, looks set to leave Ewood Park.

“I think he will move on,” Kean said in Hong Kong, where Rovers are playing in the Barclays Asia Trophy.

“We believe as of today a bid has been accepted from a Ukrainian club that wants Nico,” adding that Dnipro was the team in question.

Kalinic’s agent Tomislay Erceg said Dnipro had offered 6 million pounds ($9.8 million) for the 23-year-old, the same fee the Lancashire club reportedly paid Hajduk Split for him in 2009.

“If he moves on then we wish him all the best,” Kean said. “We are very close to agreeing the deal.”

Serbia international Petrovic looks likely to join Rovers as the club seek to fill a hole left by the departure of Jermaine Jones, who spent last season on loan at Ewood Park but has returned to German side Schalke.

“We are very close,” Kean said. “We have agreed a fee, and we have agreed personal terms. We are just subject to a work permit.”

Kean said he was delighted to have won the race for the 22-year-old’s signature.

“He is a fantastic player and I have seen him for a number of years,” the manager said.

Kean has said the club has “three or four active bids” on the table, as they look to move into the top half of the table next season.

Despite persistent links between defender Samba and the Gunners, Rovers are keen to keep the player.

“We’ve had no bids for Chris and that’s great,” Kean said. “I hope we don’t get any bids for Chris. We are trying to keep everybody together, and we are trying to add to the squad. We are not trying to take anybody away.”

Blackburn face Hong Kong champions Kitchee on Saturday for third place in the Barclays Asia Trophy after a 1-0 defeat on Wednesday to Aston Villa, who play Chelsea in the final.

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