Mahon revealed as loan target

EXCLUSIVE: Blues boss Joe Royle will today try to land Blackburn Rovers midfielder Alan Mahon on a three-month loan deal.

BLUES boss Joe Royle will today try to land Blackburn Rovers midfielder Alan Mahon on a three-month loan deal, writes Derek Davis.

The two clubs last night agreed the move but had not been able to contact the player to get his agreement and did not want to reveal his identity.

But I understand 25-year-old Mahon is the target. Talks will be held today and if he agrees the switch, Mahon will meet with the Town squad on Monday.

A Blackburn source last night told me: "Everything has been settled with the clubs but they have not been able to get in touch with Alan to finalise things. If he comes to you he will be a very good signing."

The left-sided Irish international, who has two senior caps and 18 at under-21 level, has found himself on the fringes of the Rovers squad with Graeme Souness swooping for Barry Ferguson and Dino Baggio recently.

Town defender John McGreal knows Mahon well after playing alongside him at Tranmere Rovers where he made 144 appearances scoring 14 goals.

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Mahon moved to Sporting Lisbon in a free transfer in the summer of 2000 and played once in the Champions' League and La Liga.

He joined Rovers on loan and played a major part in Blackburn's successful promotion push alongside Marcus Bent before signing a four-year deal. Mahon also won a League Cup winners' medal in 2002.

The Dubliner then helped Cardiff City reach the Division Two play-offs but his six-month loan expired before they secured a play-off final victory over QPR.

With Damien Duff ahead of him Mahon struggled to get a regular place in Rovers' Premiership side and managed just one goal in 49 outings.

He is highly rated and an exciting flair midfield wide man who likes to get stuck in and has high-energy levels. Securing Mahon is a coup for Royle after he was frustrated in his attempts to land a new midfielder and a supplementary striker.

Royle was keen to sign Francis Jeffers from Arsenal but he went to Everton and Boudwijn Zenden was another target but Town were foiled again when he decided to join Middlesbrough.

The names of Darren Huckerby and Peter Crouch were floated elsewhere but neither was ever in the frame.

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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