Blackburn Rovers finished ninth in the Championship last season and will be hoping to launch a promotion bid for the Premier League this season.
However, those dreams of making a return to the top-flight could be hampered by the fact that their two top strikers Jordan Rhodes and Rudy Gestede may leave the club this summer.
Last season both strikers were prolific in the second tier of English football. Gestede found the net 22 times in the Championship, Rhodes scored just one less in the second tier. Their performances in front of goal did not go unnoticed by other clubs.
Rhodes has long been linked with a move to the Premier League, but a move to the top-flight has not yet materialised, despite the prolific natural of his goalscoring in the Championship in recent years.
However, last season’s beaten play-off finalists Middlesbrough are being linked with a £12million move for the Scotland international.
The 25-year-old is believed to be keen on the move to the promotion hopefuls. Boro are regarded as one of the favourites for promotion to the Premier League at odds of 15/8 and it could prove a shrewd move for the striker.
Benin international Gestede is in advanced talks with Aston Villa over a £7million move to the Midlands according to Sky Sports. Villa are looking to strengthen their attacking options after losing star striker Christian Benteke to Liverpool earlier this month.
Villa have already signed Ghanaian international star forward Jordan Ayew from French club Lorient and are close to sealing the loan signing of Togo international striker Emmanuel Adebayor from Tottenham.
Gestede has previously been linked with moves to Watford, Crystal Palace, West Brom and Norwich, but it seems like Villa may have won the race for the striker.
Neither Rhodes nor Gestede are youngster both have now collected a decent amount of experience in the English game. Gestede has spent four years in English football. He joined Welsh side Cardiff in 2011, where he scored just nine goals in 63 appearances in all competitions.
It was not until he joined Rovers in 2013 that the striker started scoring on a more regular basis. An impressive return of 33 goals in 66 games since his switch suggests that he is now capable of finding the net on a more regular basis.
Rhodes on the other hand has been prolific in front of goal since 2008 and a loan spell at Brentford in League Two. The Scotland international has scored over 20 goals in all three of his seasons with Rovers.
Neither striker is likely to be happy remaining at Rovers for very long, as the club seems to have lost all ambition to be successful. It seems that the clubs owners are happy for Rovers just to tread water in the Championship.
The pair are likely to be looking at their prospective moves as an opportunity to advance their careers. Gestede looks set to be plying his trade in the top-flight next season, while Rhodes could be playing for the highly-ambition Boro this season.
Rovers are likely to recoup a lot of money if their star pair is sold this summer. The clubs owners have not exactly provided the Championship with great financial support, so boss Gary Bowyer may not see all of the profits from the prospective sales of the clubs star pair.
If as expected Gestede and Rhodes leave Ewood Park this summer then Rovers chances of making a promotion bid may just disappear with the pair.
The amount of goals the strikers scored last season will be hard to replace and the likely sales will only increase the clubs balance. However it will highly decrease the chances of Rovers making it back to the Premier League next season.
Could Rovers still challenge for promotion without their star strikers?
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