Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray has admitted promotion may be the only way his side can keep hold of out of contract trio Ryan Nyambe, Darragh Lenihan and Joe Rothwell.
Mowbray also admitted that negotiations have stalled with the club likely to revisit the situation at the end of the campaign once Rovers know which league they will be playing in next season.
There has been plenty of talk this season on the contracts of several players with a raft of first team stars in their final year.
The club have also continued to stress that they won’t break their wage structure when it comes to convincing individuals to stay.
There have been some deals agreed, with goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski and striker Sam Gallagher signing new contracts already in 2022, with talks also thought to be progressing with midfielder Lewis Travis.
However, talks 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.
This has left Mowbray frustrated but understanding of the situation they’re in, telling the Lancashire Telegraph: “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.
“They, and their advisors, have to look at the potential of the team against what they have got lined up. 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.”
Blackburn currently find themselves in 4th place, looking to regain their early season form after a win last weekend against fellow playoff chasers QPR.
Blackburn find themselves in a difficult position and one that could have been avoided. They have already been in this scenario with Adam Armstrong but chose to cash in at the right time.
However, they risk losing three first team players, all whom would have demanded high fees from rival clubs. But that’s the risk Blackburn took and it’s something that could pay off for Rovers.
If promotion isn’t achieved though, Mowbray, who is out of contract himself, and Rovers could face a huge task of rebuilding the club.