Rumour Mill: Blackburn striker Jordan Rhodes to choose Middlesbrough ahead of Norwich City
- Credit: PA
Norwich City look set to be beaten to the loan signing of Blackburn Rovers striker Jordan Rhodes by Championship title rivals Middlesbrough.
The Canaries have reportedly been battling Boro and Derby County to sign the 25-year-old Scotland international this week, who has gone on to score almost 150 Football League goals since graduating from Ipswich Town's academy.
North-East newspaper the Teesside Gazette is today reporting that Boro – a point and a place above the Canaries in the table – are in 'pole position' to sign Rhodes.
The report states: 'Boro are in pole position to sign Blackburn Rovers goal-getter Jordan Rhodes. The prolific striker is the subject to a tense three way transfer tug-of-war with title rivals Derby and Norwich also keen.
'But the Gazette understands that Boro are confident that they will win the chase and that Rhodes could sign this week.'
It is suggested that Boro would sign Rhodes on loan until the end of the season, with a fee for a permanent move dependant on whether Aitor Karanka's side gain promotion to the Premier League.
An indicator to the likelihood of Rhodes leaving Ewood Park will be given tonight when Rovers host Bolton in a league game.
He was an unused substitute in Sunday's 0-0 FA Cup quarter-final draw at Liverpool but had started and scored in a 2-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday last week.
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Rovers manager Gary Bowyer was insistent Rhodes wouldn't be leaving when speaking to BBC Radio Lancashire yesterday, stating that the goal-getter would start against Bolton.
'I don't understand why we'd want to even consider loaning one of our players to rivals,' Bowyer said. 'I think it's come out of possibly that he wasn't involved in the starting 11 on Sunday.
'If you look at our game plan and the way we went about it, we were never going to go to Anfield with two strikers.'
Rhodes extended his contract with the Lancashire club last summer until 2019 and was linked with big-money moves to the Premier League.
'We've had plenty of chats, of course we have,' Bowyer added. 'But he's starting on Wednesday against Bolton and we're looking forward to him scoring like he did last week at Sheffield Wednesday.
'It's simple. We've got 11 league games left and a cup quarter-final with a potential visit to Wembley. Why we would want to be letting any of our players go at this stage is beyond me.'
Would you like to see the Canaries sign Rhodes, with Lewis Grabban currently out injured after ankle surgery? Or does Alex Neil have enough firepower in his squad already? Leave your comments below and cast your vote in the poll above.