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Contract talks on hold as Rovers almost resigned to losing trio

Rovers captain Darragh Lenihan
Rovers captain Darragh Lenihan

Tony Mowbray says it may require Rovers to win promotion to keep hold of their out-of-contract trio – with the club almost resigned to losing them in the summer unless there is a big shift in the players’ stance.

Mowbray says negotiations have been parked, with club and players now likely to see what comes of the remaining 12 games, with Rovers fourth in the table eyeing a return to the Premier League.

The club have continued to stress they won’t break their wage structure in a bid to keep hold of any player, though Thomas Kaminski and Sam Gallagher have agreed new deals already in 2022, with talks also progressed with Lewis Travis.

Negotiations have broken down with Ryan Nyambe, while Joe Rothwell was the subject of January interest from Bournemouth. Captain Darragh Lenihan completes the trio yet to commit to a new deal.

Mowbray said: “It looks as though two or three will be leaving us, but that’s an opportunity for other people.

“I think unless something dramatically changes, like getting £140m from the Premier League and you can pay these players the salary level they believe they’re worth.

“At this moment it looks as though these players are going to move on, the grey area being how does this season finish, how well do we do?

“They, and their advisors, have to look at the potential of the team against what they have got lined up.

“Why would you sign for someone and then we get to the Premier League after a play-off final at Wembley on a fantastic day and everyone has had the best day of their life, yet they have decided to go somewhere when we could have probably matched that salary level of the team that’s trying to entice them to their club.

“There are grey areas for the players, but for the club, we’re past the point of thinking we can negotiate contracts and they’re going to sign this week or next.

“We’re at the point where they’re waiting to see what happens and the club have to wait and see what happens as well.”

Rovers are continuing to assess the contract status of their first-team players, with left back Harry Pickering, signed last January from Crewe Alexandra, under consideration for a new deal.

The club also have a 12-month option in the deal of top scorer Ben Brereton which they will activate to keep him under contract until 2023.