Doncaster Rovers are ready to make their move to sign Paul Downing on a permanent deal.

Rovers announced earlier this month that the club wouldn’t be taking up the option in the 27-year-old’s deal and he would leave at the end of next month.

The central defender finished the season with Doncaster whose bid for promotion to the Championship ended with a semi-final defeat to Charlton on penalties.

Downing played 22 times for Grant McCann’s side who are keen to sign him on a permanent deal.

He made the move to Ewood Park in the summer of 2017, initially on loan from MK Dons, before making that permanent in January 2018.

Despite featuring 30 times as Rovers secured promotion last season, he was allowed to leave on loan in January after just four appearances in all competitions.

And the League One side are keen on securing his long-term future of Downing, with McCann telling the Doncaster Free Press: “I'd love to keep him.

“It's a conversation I'm having with his representatives and a conversation I'll have with the chairman and (chief executive) Gavin Baldwin.”

Mowbray said Downing departed with his best wishes and was confident that he wouldn’t be short of suitors – with Doncaster always likely to be at the front of the queue.

McCann added: "He's top drawer.

"He just came in like a duck to water and cruised through it.

"He's calm and composed, he knows the league and he loved it here.

"The conversation I had with him on Tuesday was him thanking me and (assistant) Cliff (Byrne).

"He couldn't believe how much he'd enjoyed it."