BLACKBURN Rovers are interested in signing outgoing Leeds United midfielder Rodolph Austin.

The 29-year-old will be a free agent on July 1 after Rovers’ Roses rivals surprisingly decided to release him at the end of his current contract.


Austin, who has scored 10 goals in 112 appearances for Leeds since his switch from Norwegian side SK Brann in 2012, will not be short of offers.

Bolton Wanderers, Birmingham City, Brighton & Hove Albion and Rotherham United, as well as Scottish giants Celtic, have all been linked with the Jamaica international.

But it is believed Rovers boss Gary Bowyer would also like to speak to Austin about a possible move across the Pennines.

Bowyer is hampered by the embargo that has been placed on the club for failing Financial Fair Play.

But he is determined to add more experience and strength to a midfield that will be boosted next season by the return of Jason Lowe.

And, with Jay Spearing highly unlikely to return for another loan spell from Bolton, Austin could fit the bill.

One of the powerhouse’s final appearances in a Leeds shirt came against Rovers.

Austin was sent off for an off-the-ball incident involving Ben Marshall as the Ewood Park outfit ran out convincing 3-0 winners at Elland Road on Easter Saturday.

But that would not put Rovers off from making a move.

Bowyer can have a maximum of 24 established players in his squad under the terms of the club’s Financial Fair Play embargo.

He currently has 20 established players under contract for next season after option clauses in the current deals of Matt Kilgallon and Lee Williamson were activated.

But Bowyer is working on the premise of having 22 established players as he expects Chris Taylor to agree a new contract and he remains hopeful that Josh King will follow suit.

If the duo do put pen to paper on fresh terms that means Rovers would be able to sign a maximum of two players, either on loan or on free transfers, unless there are departures.

The club will look to shift Leon Best, Jake Kean and Josh Morris, who are regarded as established players, off their wage bill.

Bowyer, who would also like to add pace to his ranks, admits it is a difficult balancing act.

“We saw the effect of the embargo toward the latter end of the season when we were not able to bring in the loan signings say Bolton were making because of the restriction on the established players,” said Bowyer, who can offer a weekly wage of no more than £10,000 to new recruits, which is another consequence of the embargo.

“We’ve worked ever so hard to reduce the wage bill, and increase the quality of player we’ve brought into the squad, and then increase their value to the football club, but because of the money that was lost before our reign, it’s going to be the same again.

“So we have to be careful and balance it properly as, for instance, if we have the maximum amount of players we’re allowed at the start of the season, and we then get a couple of injuries in the same position, we wouldn’t be able to bring anybody in.

“So it’s not just about the players that are available now, it’s the whole season we’ve got to look at and plan for.”

Rovers, meanwhile, are not chasing young Manchester City midfielder Seko Fofana on loan.