Jelavic departure nears as Rovers send scouts

Blackburn Rovers are closing in on signing Rapid Vienna star Nikica Jelavic.British press reported earlier this week that the English Premiership giants were interested in producing the striker’s services.Now Rovers boss Sam Allardyce said: “The (current Football) World Cup (in South Africa) means a price hike on the international transfer market. We are checking out players in the whole world.”Austrian sports dailies claim Allardyce planned to send scouts to observe the 24-year-old’s skills in Rapid’s next three friendly fixtures against Japanese club Sanfrecce Hiroshima, Austrian third-league team FC  Waidhofen an der Ybbs and Slovak club FK Dukla Banská Bystrica.Portuguese champions Benfica are however also keen on snatching Jelavic who netted 18 times in the past Austrian Bundesliga season Rapid finished in third.The Croatian national team player is reportedly worth around six million Euros.Rapid face FK Sūduva Marijampolė in the second qualification round for the upcoming UEFA Europa League.The team managed by former FC Tirol striker Peter Pacult will host the Lithuanian cup winners on 15 July before clashing in the second leg on 22 July.Austrian champions Red Bull Salzburg are set to play HB Tórshavn in the second UEFA Champions League qualification round on 13 or 14 July and 20 or 21 July, the drawing in Nyon, Switzerland revealed yesterday (Mon).HB Tórshavn are the Faroe Islands’ oldest and most successful football club. They won the Faroe Islands Premier League 20 times as well as 26 Faroe Islands Cup titles.The “Bulls” will have to do without striker Marc Janko as the 26-year-old was officially presented by Twente Enschede yesterday. The Austrian national team captain signed a four-year contract at the club which will play in next season’s UEFA Champions League group stage.The transfer most likely made Janko Austria’s most expensive player of all time as Dutch champions paid an alleged 6.5 million Euros.Czech midfielder Karel Piták and German striker Alexander Zickler also left the team coached by former Schalke 04 boss Huub Stevens.Piták joined Czech top-flight side FK Jablonec while Zickler signed a one-year deal with Red Bull’s league rivals LASK Linz.The 2010/2011 season of the Austrian Bundesliga will meanwhile start on the weekend of 17 July.