ROVERS have been given encouragement in their potential pursuit of Adam Armstrong with reports that Newcastle are willing to listen to offers for the attacker.

Armstrong impressed in his six month loan spell at Ewood Park, scoring nine times in the second half of the season as Rovers secured promotion to the Championship.

That form earned him a first call-up to the England Under-21 squad ahead of the Toulon tournament which begins later this month.

The 21-year-old has spoken of his time in East Lancashire in glowing terms and hasn’t ruled out a return to Rovers should the opportunity arise.

He has spent each of the last three seasons out on loan, working with Ewood boss Tony Mowbray on two occasions, including a successful stint at Coventry City in 2015/16.

Then, the north east native scored 20 times in a goal-laden season which earned him a bumper four-year deal with the Magpies which doesn’t expire until 2020.

Despite that, reports in the north east suggest Newcastle are open to offers for Armstrong, but only on a permanent basis rather than a third successive season on loan.

Newcastle are keen to add to their squad after retaining Premier League status and boss Rafael Benitez may explore the possibility of allowing Armstrong to leave to raise funds.

Rovers could be in line for first refusal on Armstrong with the attacker having ended the season at Ewood Park.

Speaking after the loan signings of Armstrong and Jack Payne in January, Mowbray said: “They’re not necessarily as black and white as short-term loans and there might be a potential future in some of them.”

Should Rovers wish to follow-up their interest then the player’s wages may be a sticking point with Armstrong currently earning more than the likely wage structure Rovers will work to next season.

But Armstrong’s relationship with Mowbray - having scored 29 of his 36 career league goals to date under him - could well swing the balance in Rovers’ favour should the demands be met.

Of his future prior to his loan spell with Rovers ending, Armstrong said: “The plan is to go back in the summer and assess the situation because I’ve still got two years left on my contract.”

He is now set for a second successive summer with England. Last year he helped the Under-20s to win the World Cup while this time around he is part of Aidy Boothroyd’s Under-21s squad who are looking to win the Toulon tournament for a third successive year.