Rovers link for Hammer

Target? Frederic Piquionne being tackled by Stoke's Glenn Whelan in the Premier League last season; right: Mustapha Dumbaya returned to training with Rovers yesterday after his Palace loan
Target? Frederic Piquionne being tackled by Stoke's Glenn Whelan in the Premier League last season; right: Mustapha Dumbaya returned to training with Rovers yesterday after his Palace loan
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DONCASTER Rovers have again being linked with out-of-favour West Ham United striker Frederic Piquionne.

The 33-year-old was reportedly a target for new Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill during last month’s transfer window.

Fellow Premier League outfit Wolves are also believed to have expressed an interest.

The Hammers allowed full-back Herita Ilunga to join Rovers in the first half of the season in the hope that someone would come in for him while in the shop window at the Keepmoat Stadium.

But despite playing regularly during his time at the South Yorkshire club, Ilunga failed to attract a bid prior to returning to the relegated London club where he is considered surplus to requirements.

Although there was no one available at Rovers yesterday to either confirm or deny any interest in Piquionne, a former Lyon team-mate of Lamine Diatta, it would not be surprising were Rovers to be in the market for a striker given the fact that they lost leading scorer Billy Sharp on the penultimate day of the transfer window.

Even though El Hadji Diouf signed a new contract last Thursday, which will keep him at the club until the end of the season at least, Rovers are still a striker down.

But with summer signing Chris Brown, yet to feature since Saunders took charge in September, due to a knee problem, close to being ready to challenge for a place in the Doncaster squad, there is no need for the Rovers’ boss to panic if there is no funding in place to add to his squad following the recent departure of two of the club’s three major shareholders. In a bid to generate funds to boost the club’s squad, Rovers are offering local businessmen the chance to become an honorary director for a day at a forthcoming home match.

For a cost of £5,000 plus VAT, they will arrive at the ground in style in chairman John Ryan’s bentley.

They will be given a behind-the-scenes tour by him and they will also get the chance to meet Saunders and his players pre-match

They will be wined and dined in the directors’ boardroom and be presented with a framed signed Rovers’ shirt of their choice as well as receiving a complimentary ground hoarding at the Stadium for the rest of the season.

Rovers trained on the artificial pitches at the Keepmoat Stadium complex yesterday as a result of their Cantley Park training ground being frozen under several inches of snow.

Among the players braving the cold was full-back Mustapha Dumbuya, who has returned from loan at Crystal Palace, whom Rovers visit this weekend, since the start of last month.

Dumbuya, who had not started a game under Saunders, started three for the Eagles during his time at Palace.