Kelly could stay at Ewood - February 8, 2001

Republic of Ireland international goalkeeper Alan Kelly could be staying at Ewood Park after all, following a getaway bid by colleague John Filan.

Kelly slapped in a transfer request after Blackburn boss Graeme Souness signed American Brad Friedel and the Irishman found himself ranked third in the goalkeeping pecking order.

But now No. 2 'keeper Filan has followed suit - an Blackburn have granted his request with the proviso that only one of the two will be allowed to leave.

"I have told John that I will not stand in his way," Souness said. "But with Alan Kelly in a similar situation we can obviously only allow one of them to leave."

The issue will be decided on a first-come, first-served basis. Interest in Kelly has been slack and if Filan gets away first it means Kelly will be stuck at Blackburn for the foreseeable future.

At least it will mean that the Irishman moves up in the pecking order to No. 2 - but at this stage of his career, the 30-year-old, 33-cap 'keeper needs first-team football to bolster his bid to hold down the Irish international jersey.

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