Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray says he expects to find out early next week whether they will be able to sign a centre back on loan before they host Stoke City at Ewood Park on Saturday afternoon.
With Daniel Ayala, Derrick Williams and Scott Wharton all out injured, midfielder Bradley Johnson was once again forced to partner Darragh Lenihan at centre back as Rovers were beaten 1-0 by Doncaster in the FA Cup on Saturday.
The Lancashire club are perhaps not surprisingly keen to add to their central defensive options this month to provide cover at the heart of defence for Mowbray’s side.
Speaking following that defeat to Doncaster about whether they will have a new centre back signed before that clash with the Potters, Mowbray was quoted by Lancs Live as saying: “I don’t know. We talk to clubs, they point out the FA Cup and they’re in the squad or on the bench, blah blah.
“I haven’t seen the results so I don’t know if they’re in the FA Cup or out of the FA Cup, if they’re wanted or not wanted, so let’s wait and see. I’ll know more early in the week.”
One option who has been mentioned as a potential target for Rovers is Everton centre back Jarrad Branthwaite.
The 18-year-old was an unused substitute as the Toffees beat Rotherham 2-1 after extra time on Saturday to secure their place in the fourth round of the competition.
You do feel as though it is vital that Blackburn get a centre back through the door before that clash with Stoke.
Johnson has coped well since being thrust into that role, in fairness, but it is clear to see that he is not a natural centre back.
That is something that teams will no doubt start to look to exploit more and more, the longer Rovers are forced to use the 33-year-old in that position.
It seems therefore, as though getting this deal done as quickly as they can, will be vital to any remaining hopes Rovers have of breaking into the Championship play-off places this season.