BLACKBURN Rovers are weighing up going back in for Manchester United starlet Michael Keane in a bid to solve their defensive crisis before the East Lancashire derby with Burnley.
With captain Grant Hanley still to return to full training and the extent of Matt Kilgallon’s injury yet to be determined, Rovers boss Gary Bowyer is working to bring a defender in on loan in time for Sunday’s big Ewood Park clash.
But Keane, who was close to joining Rovers last week, is not the only centre-back Bowyer has enquired about.
After calling his squad in for training on their day off yesterday – a consequence of the performance they produced in Saturday’s 4-0 loss at Bolton Wanderers – Bowyer and managing director Derek Shaw spent yesterday afternoon locked in talks with several clubs and agents.
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Some players are proving out of Rovers’ price range while others will only come if they are guaranteed games.
It is believed that proved to be the sticking point with Keane last week.
The 21-year-old, who is in the England U21 squad for their encounter with Wales U21 at the iPro Stadium tomorrow, called time on a loan spell at Derby County earlier this season as he was not playing enough.
It is understood the uncertainty over whether he would start most weeks for Rovers was the reason why the deal broke down.
But it is a deal Bowyer and Shaw – who worked with United manager David Moyes when he was chairman of Preston North End – could resurrect now there is a question mark over the fitness of both of Rovers’ senior central defenders.
Bowyer has been scouring the market for defensive cover ever since skipper Scott Dann was sold to Crystal Palace on transfer deadline day.
But the groin injury sustained by Kilgallon against Bolton has added urgency to the search.
Kilgallon, having been unable to train yesterday, will be assessed today.
It is hoped the problem is not serious.
Hanley, who has a calf strain, did do a light session yesterday, however, away from the main group.
The Rovers skipper has pulled out of the Scotland squad for tomorrow night’s friendly with Poland.
Midfielder Tom Cairney, who missed out on Saturday with an ankle injury, is expected to take part in a light session today.
The Rovers squad were supposed to have a day off yesterday but Bowyer hauled them in to go over the defeat to Bolton.
Bowyer said: “We have to look at the good points but more importantly the bad points because there were more bad points than good.
“We were missing key players – it’s as simple as that. But what do you do? Not turn up and play the game because you are missing key players?
“It’s part of football and we won’t be using that as an excuse.”
Meanwhile young Rovers striker Dean Rittenberg was in action for England U18s yesterday.
The 17-year-old, who was an unused substitute at Bolton, came off the bench as England lost 2-1 to Croatia.