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Blackburn Rovers’ Duncan McGuire transfer on verge of collapse after registration error

Duncan McGuire’s transfer to Blackburn Rovers from Orlando City is once again on the verge of collapsing due to a Blackburn error in registering the player, sources briefed on the situation tell The Athletic. Blackburn is appealing against the decision – the latest U-turn in an on again/off again deadline day saga.

McGuire was on a flight to England on Wednesday morning with a deal agreed to Blackburn, only for Blackburn to tell Orlando and McGuire’s agent they had to pull out of the deal.

McGuire still flew to England and went to a hotel in Sheffield as other clubs mounted efforts to sign him on deadline day. Blackburn got back into the mix on a different deal, with Orlando agreeing to new terms.

Sources within Orlando City say the club would feel awful for the player if the decision isn’t reversed on appeal. Orlando never wanted to lose McGuire in the first place, but accepted his desire to push for a move and twice agreed to terms with Blackburn, including once after the club abruptly pulled out of an agreed deal on Wednesday.

As things stand, McGuire will not be able to be registered to appear in matches for Blackburn until the next window, which is after the Championship season ends this summer. In the agreed-upon deal, McGuire was set for a loan until the summer with Blackburn holding a purchase option.

Blackburn has told The Athletic that it will provide a further update on developments over the next 48 hours to clarify the situation.

What happens next is still being decided. McGuire can still return to Orlando, play in MLS, and see what happens in the summer.

McGuire was at Ewood Park on Saturday watching from the stands with his agent as Blackburn fell 2-1 to QPR. The club’s other deadline-day signings, including Billy Koumetio and John Fleck, were eligible to play.

“I am not allowed to speak about that case,” manager Jon Dahl Tomasson told media when asked about the McGuire situation following the loss.” I think you should ask (CEO) Steve (Waggott), (operations and management consultant) Suhail (Shaikh) and the ownership about the Duncan McGuire case.”

It was Blackburn’s eighth match in a row without a win. Blackburn’s last league win was on December 12, when they beat Bristol City at home 2-1.

The situation may feel like deja vu for Rovers fans. Last winter, the club had agreed a loan deal for English midfielder Lewis O’Brien but it also unraveled due to the club not filing paperwork in time. O’Brien, like McGuire had completed his medical and did in-house media obligations with the club before the deal collapsed.

Founded in 1875, the Lancashire-based club were one of the 12 founding members of the Football League in 1888. The club was sold to Indian poultry-to-healthcare conglomerate V H Group, better known as Venky’s in 2010.

Previously regulars in the Premier League, Blackburn was relegated to the Championship in 2012, then dropped to League One in 2017. They returned to the second tier a year later and narrowly missed the playoffs last season.

The decision to buy Blackburn has cost Venky’s more than £200 million ($252 million) and counting when you factor in 13 years of annual losses. No member of the Rao family, which controls the V H Group, has been to Blackburn’s Ewood Park stadium since 2013, when a senior member of the family was hit by a snowball thrown by a fan protesting at the club’s recent relegation.

GO DEEPER

McGuire-to-Blackburn canceled with player on plane

(Getty Images)


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