Blackburn Rovers are facing a crucial decision ahead of the January transfer window over what they should do regarding the long-term future of midfielder Joe Rothwell.
Tony Mowbray’s side will be fully aware that Rothwell’s existing deal at Blackburn is set to expire at the end of the current campaign.
Therefore, they might need to consider cashing in on him in order to prevent him from leaving Ewood Park on a free transfer next summer.
Rovers were forced to sell Adam Armstrong under similar contractual circumstances during the summer transfer window.
They had been trying to hold out for the right price for last season’s top scorer and turned down offers before eventually selling to Southampton.
Rothwell has been a crucial member of Blackburn’s starting line-up this season in all 11 of their opening Championship matches. The midfielder has yet to score but has provided three assists for Rovers so far this term.
It is now being reported by The Sun though that Rangers could be potentially interested in taking advantage of his current contract situation and make a move for him in January.
Here, we take a look at What we know so far and also whether the move is likely to happen…
What do we know so far?
According to the report from The Sun, Blackburn considered cashing in on Rothwell during the summer window. They hoped that a potential sale of the midfielder would possibly help them hang on to Armstrong.
It is believed that Brentford were interested in potentially making a move for Rothwell in the summer. However, eventually, the Bees turned to other targets in that position to bolster their squad ahead of their first-ever Premier League campaign.
It is now thought that Blackburn could look to sell Rothwell in the winter window now as they aim to avoid losing the midfielder on a free transfer at the end of the current campaign.
Rangers are thought to be leading the race of teams that are interested in Rothwell. It is believed that Steve Gerrard’s side could make a move to try and sign Rothwell on a pre-contract agreement.
This comes after Blackburn’s Chief executive Steve Waggott recently admitted that the club are currently at a standoff with some of their players with regards to new potential contracts.
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Is it likely to happen?
Considering the position that Blackburn have reached with Rothwell’s contract it would be absolutely no surprise to see them cash in on the midfielder during the January window.
Allowing a player of Rothwell’s importance to the side leave Ewood Park on a free transfer would be a major oversight by Rovers.
Therefore they are likely to be willing to negotiate with a potential interested party to make sure they recoup some funds for him.
Blackburn could also do with addressing their lack of forward depth that they failed to sort in the summer window. Potentially cashing in on Rothwell could raise funds for them to make a move for a new striker to bolster the squad.
These types of signings are not unusual for Rangers and they have signed players before on pre-contract agreements from English clubs in recent years. The most recent example of that being of course John Lundstram from Sheffield United.
Therefore, you can imagine them firming up their interest in Rothwell and it would not be surprising to see them making a successful move for the midfielder in January.