Millwall eye Blackburn’s Best but Ollie may wait for Smith


MILLWALL are chasing Blackburn striker Leon Best.

But the Lions fear rival interest from Wigan and Derby could kill their chances of signing the 27-year-old.

Ian Holloway has spoken to Rovers counterpart Gary Bowyer about a season-long loan for the former Newcastle United frontman.

The Republic of Ireland international earns £25,000-a-week at Ewood Park but Blackburn are willing to stump up over half of his wages to get him off their books.

However, Holloway expects to be pipped to Best’s signature by a Championship rival.

Chelsea youngster Patrick Bamford has also been the subject of an enquiry from Millwall, but Middlesbrough are poised to nab the 20-year-old.

Boro boss Aitor Karanka worked with Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid and Bamford is heading to the Riverside as a favour between friends.

“I’m not best mates with anybody!” Holloway said. “Bamford won’t be coming to us – lots of bigger clubs have asked about him.”

With moves for Best and Bamford seemingly dead in the water, Holloway could yet revive his interest in Leeds United’s Matt Smith.

The Lions saw a bid for the 25-year-old rejected in June but remain keen on the frontman.

Holloway refused to discuss Smith specifically but said he was prepared to wait for his top targets.

“I have got some gunpowder dry if I need to use it,” the Millwall boss added. “Do I need a striker at the moment? I don’t know, I might have enough.

“But it makes sense to save some of the budget in case somebody else becomes available. It’s a waiting game. Sometimes I’ll be patient and wait for what I want.

“It’s no good taking someone for the sake of it. Nobody is jumping out at me right now but I know what I want.

“I might already have enough because the lads here look ready to rise to the challenge.

“I’m not that bothered at the moment because I’ve got plenty of choices and I’m happy to see what develops.”