Rovers eye Rapid’s Jelavic
Blackburn Rovers have set their sights on Rapid Vienna star Nikica Jelavic, according to British press reports.Newspapers report today (Mon) that the club managed by former Newcastle United boss Sam Allardyce were ready to challenge Benfica in signing the Croat striker. The Portuguese sent scouts to several Rapid matches in the final weeks of last season to cast an eye at Jelavic.Jelavic came to their attention after scoring four goals in six appearances for his club during last seasons Europa League group stage. The national team ace also netted 18 times in the Austrian Bundesliga Rapid finished in third.Jelavic could form Blackburns attacking duo with fellow Croat Nikola Kalinić who joined the club last year. The pair know each other from playing for Hajduk Split in the Croatian Prva NHL league.The Rovers, who came tenth in the 20-team Premier League last season, are reportedly ready to cough up six million Euros to secure the services of Jelavic who joined Rapid from Belgium side Zulte Waregem two years ago.Jelavic declined to comment on the speculations.His club recently reacted to his possible departure by signing 197-centimetre tall Atdhe Nuhiu from SV Ried. Rapids Mario Konrad could leave the club for Hungarian club Ferencvárosi Torna Club, according to Austrian sports dailies, while French media claim that AS Monaco are considering approaching Rapid bosses to discuss a possible transfer of Albanian national team star Hamdi Salihi.Rapids league rivals Sturm Graz will clash with Blackburn in a friendly in Graz on 10 July, before meeting Arsenal on 21 July.Austrian national team captain Marc Janko meanwhile spoke out about his move from Austrian champions Red Bull Salzburg to Dutch giants Twente Enschede.”Im happy both clubs are satisfied with the deal. Now Im looking forward to a new challenge. It was time to leave the nest,” the striker said.Janko, 26, became a subject of interest for a string of European clubs last year after scoring 39 league goals in one season. But the former Admira player who was surprisingly not nominated for Austrias Euro2008 squad decided to sign a new contract with the “Bulls”.LASK Linz currently test the skills of Guillaume Tchoungang N’kendo from Slovak club FK DAC 1904 Dunajská Streda. The Cameroonian striker scored twice as the team of Helmut Kraft beat third-league side Parndorf 3-0 in a friendly.League rivals SV Kapfenberg meanwhile defeated Japanese Sanfrecce Hiroshima 6-4. The J. League Division 1 team is managed by former Sturm Graz coach Michael Petrovic. Kapfenberg recently announced that Czech defender Milan Fukal had extended his contract until 2011.Vice champions Austria Vienna crushed Viennese amateur league club Favoritner AC 6-0.The 2010/2011 season of the Austrian Bundesliga will kick off on the weekend of 17 July.