ROVERS are hoping to step up their recruitment drive next week ahead of pre-season training later this month.

It is seven weeks until Rovers kick off their League One campaign, and just three until they start their pre-season friendlies with a trip to National League side Barrow.

Rovers head coach Tony Mowbray is working hard behind the scenes to strengthen his ranks, with Cardiff City midfielder Peter Whittingham the only addition so far.

But the club are hopeful that potential deals will progress.

Rovers are targeting at least one more central midfielder before the start of the season, following the release of Jason Lowe, Hope Akpan and Danny Guthrie at the end of last season.

Mowbray has met with a number of potential targets and hopes to sell his vision for the club after attracting Whittingham to sign despite the 32-year-old having offers from Championship clubs.

Whittingham is likely to be key to the way Mowbray wants to play next season, but the boss is also aware that he will need to add some steel to his side, particularly in the middle of the park.

Rovers’ targets are likely to attract Championship interest with Mowbray also seeking to strengthen in attack particularly with the club resigned to losing Connor Mahoney who is closing in on a move to Nottingham Forest.

Mowbray knows the importance of recruitment this summer as Rovers eye immediate promotion back to the Championship next term.

And he believes he must add goals to a squad which currently has just one player - Danny Graham - who recorded a double figure goal haul last season with Craig Conway next in the list with seven.

Anthony Stokes – who struggled in his debut campaign – is set to remain at the club, despite interest from Scottish side Hibernian, but is one of just two senior strikers left on the books.

That comes as Bury distanced themselves from social media reports that they had made a surprise move for Graham, Rovers’ top scorer last season.

The Shakers have been busy in the transfer market already this summer, recruiting eight players, including former Preston striker Jermaine Beckford.

They have also turned down a £500,000 bid for 24-goal striker James Vaughan, with boss Lee Clark keen to pair him and Beckford together next season.