ROVERS’ midfield overhaul is gathering pace as they target a move for out of contract Rotherham United man Richie Smallwood.

The ball-winning midfielder does have interest from at least three Championship sides as he weighs up his options. However, he is a player well known to the Rovers head coach having started his career at Middlesbrough, working with Mowbray during his three years at the Riverside between 2010 and 2013.

And Mowbray will hope that relationship with Smallwood, who won promotion from League One with Rotherham in 2014, as well as his ambitions for the club, will help seal the deal.

Peter Whittingham became the club’s first summer signing last week when he joined on a two-year deal from Championship side Cardiff City.

Whittingham turned down Championship interest, as well as a new offer from Cardiff, to sign for Rovers, citing Mowbray’s philosophy for the club as a key reason for his signature.

Smallwood too has interest from the second tier, and has rejected the offer of a new contract with the Millers, who were relegated to League One along with Rovers last season.

He has made 133 appearances for Rotherham since joining from Boro in the 2013/14 season.

And Rovers will hope to persuade the 26-year-old, who had a spell in League One last season on loan at Scunthorpe United, that Ewood Park would be a good move.

RC Lens midfielder John Bostock is also on Rovers’ radar, however a move for the 25-year-old isn’t straightforward.

The Ligue 2 player of the year is expected to leave Lens this summer, after they failed to win promotion last season.

But Bostock – who revealed in an interview last week how he was enjoying his time in France – has interest from the French top division and is still under contract so would command a fee.

Mowbray cited midfield as one of his ‘critical’ areas for recruitment this summer following the departures of Jason Lowe, Danny Guthrie and Hope Akpan in the summer.

The trio were all released after relegation from the Championship, leaving Corry Evans – who is progressing well on his return from a long-standing groin injury – as the only senior central midfielder on the club’s books.