Paul Downing could leave Rovers this month, with a League One club keen on signing the defender.

Downing has six months left to run on the deal he signed last year when joining permanently from MK Dons, and has played just four times this season.

The 27-year-old played a key role in Rovers achieving promotion last season, but has struggled for opportunities since Darragh Lenihan returned from long-term injury last February.

Downing revealed last month he could explore a possible move away from Ewood Park in January having struggled to break in to the starting line-up, and has often been left out of the matchday squad.

Tony Mowbray has faith in the crop of young players coming through the ranks, and any possible expect for Downing could see Scott Wharton recalled from his loan spell with League Two side Lincoln City, having played just 14 times this season.

When asked about the prospect of a first team player leaving this month, Mowbray said: “I just had a conversation with one of those players and there is a chance within the next week that the player will be allowed to move on to a good club, a good opportunity for them.

“I don’t want to stand in a players way of progressing their career, or if they are not playing regularly with us to go and play somewhere else.”

Derrick Williams has deputised in central defence for Rovers this season, while Jack Rodwell has also seemingly overtaken Downing in the pecking order having signed in the summer.

Joe Grayson was on the bench for the New Year’s Day win over West Brom and has been tipped for a bright future by Mowbray.

The boss has seen Lewis Travis flourish on the first team scene in recent weeks, while Joe Nuttall is expected to be in the squad for tomorrow’s game at Millwall.

Dan Butterworth is another of Damien Johnson’s Under-23s squad to catch his eye, with the boss keen not to block the pathway to his Academy prospects.

He added: “I like a lot of our young players. Travis has forced his way in and Nuttall has been scoring goals again for the Under-23s and is playing at a really good level again and with a good intensity.

“We have young centre halves like Joe Grayson, Scott Wharton who is at Lincoln on loan, Tyler Magloire is back from injury and has some amazing attributes.

“We have young footballers around the building who maybe deserve an opportunity.

“I don’t sit here thinking we will buy loads of players who will block the fringes of the team and their pathways.

“It is a fine balance between giving players pathways and opportunities to utilise those pathways, but if there is an opportunity to get a player we feel can improve the overall quality of the team then we will try and add to our team.”