The Lancashire Telegraph claim Rovers were set to sign the out-of-favour Newcastle player on deadline day.
Despite his £30,000 per week wages [Spotrac], Mowbray was sure Atsu was to join Blackburn with Newcastle allowing the player to leave after strengthening themselves.
But the Rovers boss was then alerted of a last-minute change of heart.
“Ultimately we were going to spend a lot of money on a Premier League footballer who was surplus to requirements because of a signing his club had made. His wages were way out of our league, but yet that deal nearly happened, but that player didn’t want to leave his Premier League club,” Mowbray commented.
“His family situation dictated that, and we were left frustrated.”
Christian Atsu had made just six Premier League starts for Newcastle this season.
The former Chelsea player’s last league appearance came in the 2-2 draw at Everton. He was hauled off after 60 minutes with the Magpies going on to score two injury-time goals to salvage a draw.
Atsu is capable of playing on either wing. He has posted three assists this term.
Blackburn are one of several teams just outside the Championship’s playoffs. Business in January could make the difference come May.
Rovers had extra reason to want to strengthen in attack following the injury to Bradley Dack. The 26-year-old attacker had scored nine goals in 22 league games prior to picking up an ACL injury.
Tony Mowbray’s side ended the transfer window without making a single signing.
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