BLACKBURN Rovers have offered new and improved contracts to Shane Duffy and Ben Marshall.

Since taking over the Rovers reins in June Owen Coyle has made it clear he wants to keep the star duo at Ewood Park.


Centre-back Duffy and winger Marshall have less than 12 months remaining on their present deals.

But Coyle has confirmed the players and their representatives will now be in possession of fresh and upgraded terms.

The Rovers boss, speaking yesterday at a press conference to preview tomorrow’s trip to Wigan Athletic, said: “I’ve spoken to both lads today.

“I had a really good chat with them and we’ll put something to their advisors and it’s up to them to come back and say whether it’s acceptable or whether it’s not and they are looking for X, Y or Z.

“But for me at least it shows that forward motion in respect of trying to achieve something.

“Both are great lads. Their attitude has been fantastic.

“Of course as players they are in a very strong position going into the last year of their contracts.

“I’ve had that chat with both today. I told them on Tuesday that I would sit down with them and explain that our offer would be with their representatives this afternoon which, in both cases, is an improved offer on what their existing contracts are.

“Now it up to their representatives to say yes, no or they’re looking for X, Y or Z.”

Both players have been the subject of rejected bids from Championship rivals this summer.

Brighton & Hove Albion had an offer turned down for Duffy, who has since been linked with Sunderland, while advances from Wolves for Marshall, before the departure of manager Kenny Jackett, were spurned.

Coyle, who lost captain Grant Hanley to Newcastle United for £5.5m, said: “Both lads are here at the club and the only reason that would change was if somebody comes in and offers X amount of money that the owners think is acceptable.

“I want both lads here. I think we can add good pieces to help them and that in turn helps the team.

“From my perspective I certainly want them here. So let’s see what happens.”

Coyle added: “Blackburn Rovers is a fantastic club, if you look back at the history, the tradition and everything that goes with it, but of course for whatever reason it has not achieved its objectives on the field for the last number of years.

“Within that maybe budgets may have got less and less. What we have to do now is try and get a team which is stabilised on the field, which can have that consistency, and then look to make a push from that platform of stability.

“But we have to achieve that stability first and foremost and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Coyle yesterday made his seventh signing of the summer with the capture of Southampton striker Sam Gallagher on a season-long loan.

He is also attempting to bring in a left-back for competition for Stephen Hendrie as well as a centre-back.

And Coyle, who has been restricted to loans and free transfer so far, said: “There’s been a number of conversations that have taken place with different clubs and players.

“I can’t say there is anything over the line, because there’s not, but there’s certainly a couple of things that could happen.

“But I don’t want to get ahead of myself in case they fall through as that can happen in our game.”

Meanwhile, supporters can pay on the gate at Wigan tomorrow. Tickets cost £25 for adults, £22 for over-65s, £15 for under-18s, £10 for under-11s, and £2 for under-5s.

Rovers have sold 1,700 tickets.