TODD Kane will not be returning to Blackburn Rovers for a third successive season.
Kane has spent the last 18 months on loan at Rovers from Premier League outfit Chelsea.
However despite being in need of a right back Gary Bowyer is unlikely to explore the possibility of signing the 20-year-old on loan again.
Instead Rovers boss Bowyer will turn his attentions elsewhere with Cardiff City’s John Brayford and Sunderland’s Phil Bardsley having already being linked with moves to Ewood Park.
Kane has made 42 appearances and scored two goals across his two campaigns for Rovers.
He first arrived at the club in January 2013 and established himself as its first-choice right back.
The former England U19s international started the first 19 games of this season but he lost his place to Adam Henley after he missed the 0-0 draw at QPR on December 7 through suspension.
Henley’s season was ended early by ankle ligament damage.
But instead of recalling Kane, whose form had dipped, Bowyer chose to play Jason Lowe and then the Michael Keane out of position at right back.
On-loan Manchester United centre back Keane impressed in the role and Rovers’ players and management would relish the chance of him returning to the club next season.
Left back Tommy Spurr said: “You could tell Mike was a player straight away and he fitted in well.
“When he went to right back I was actually taking the Mick out of him, saying he would have to do a lot more running.
“But he managed to do it, he did a really good job, and we’d all be delighted to have him back next year.”
Keane would jump at the chance to re-sign for Rovers if United decide to send him back out on loan to the Championship.
But Bowyer believes the 21-year-old, who has one year remaining on his Old Trafford contract, is good enough to play in the Premier League and fears that is where he will be operating next season.
Bowyer is therefore monitoring other right backs.
But one name which is unlikely to feature on his shortlist is that of Bardsley.
The Scotland international is set to be a free agent in the summer as he is yet to agree a new deal with Sunderland.
But his salary will be out of Rovers’ price range.
Bowyer signed two players from Cardiff in January in Rudy Gestede and Craig Conway.
But it remains uncertain whether the relegated Bluebirds would sell Brayford, should anything become of Rovers’ reported interest, to one of their Championship rivals.
Brayford failed to make a Premier League appearance for Cardiff after signing from Derby County for £1.5m in July last year and he spent the final four months of the season on loan in League One with Sheffield United.