Blackburn’s signing of Orlando City striker Duncan McGuire falls through as EFL denies appeal for late paperwork, but Championship club plans to revisit the deal in the summer.

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Blackburn have failed in their appeal to sign Orlando City striker Duncan McGuire after the Championship club submitted late paperwork.

The club announced on Tuesday that the English Football League had not approved the deal to sign the United States international.

This followed registration documents being submitted after the 11pm transfer deadline on February 1.

Blackburn confirmed they had lodged an appeal with the EFL in a bid to rescue the deal, arguing all details had been agreed, signed and uploaded onto the system ahead of the deadline.

‘Upon comprehensive review of submissions, the board determined that the upload of documents into a draft application area did not constitute sending documents to the EFL,’ an EFL statement read.

The EFL has rejected a request from Blackburn to apporve the signing of Duncan McGuire

The Championship club reportedly saved instead of submitted paperwork before the deadline

The Championship club reportedly saved instead of submitted paperwork before the deadline

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‘It also took the decision that it was not prepared to exercise discretion to permit the registration outside of the window as the EFL executive had correctly interpreted and applied its regulations and associated guidance.’

McGuire’s dramatic transfer saga began when he first took a flight to England on Wednesday, only for Blackburn to call Orlando and the striker’s agent to inform them that they had pulled out of the deal.

Rather than turning the plane around, McGuire still flew to England and stayed in his hotel while other teams attempted to secure a deadline-day deal for his services.

Blackburn later re-entered talks and were poised to sign McGuire on an initial loan deal with an option to buy.

According to The Athletic, Blackburn thought they had clicked ‘submit paperwork’ ahead of the deadline but instead had only clicked ‘save’.

The club reportedly then only realised the error after the transfer window had closed.

‘The club is disappointed by the outcome, but accepts the decision of the EFL Board,’ a club statement read.

‘Duncan McGuire will now return to Orlando at the earliest opportunity to re-join his club ahead of the start of the 2024 MLS season.

Blackburn have vowed to try to secure an agreement to sign McGuire, centre, in the summer

Blackburn have vowed to try to secure an agreement to sign McGuire, centre, in the summer

‘As was previously communicated by the club, Rovers will fly over to the United States over the coming weeks to try to conclude a pre-contract agreement with Orlando City, so that the 23-year forward can officially become a Rovers player in the summer.

‘Rovers wish to sincerely thank Duncan McGuire and the player’s representative, as well as Orlando City and the supporters of both clubs, for their patience and understanding in this matter, which will hopefully reach a positive conclusion in due course.’

Blackburn had previously failed to submit paperwork on time to sign midfielder Lewis O’Brien from Nottingham Forest in January 2023. The EFL rejected Rovers appeal on that occasion.

McGuire, a 22-year-old forward, scored 15 goals in all competitions for Orlando City last season.

Should McGuire join Rovers in the summer, he will likely do so with a new manager in charge of the club.

Mail Sport revealed that the Championship club are in the process of finalising the departure of coach Jon Dahl Tomasson and his assistant Remy Reijnierse.

The Danish manager is believed to have offered to resign with Rovers mired in an eight-game winless Championship run.

Former Birmingham City boss John Eustace is closing in on a return to management as Tomasson’s likely successor. 

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