Tony Mowbray expects conversations between Rovers and Wigan to take place over a permanent move for defender Charlie Mulgrew this month.

Mulgrew was loaned to the Latics in the summer window, and despite having 18 months left to run on his deal at Ewood Park, the 33-year-old could see his time at the club come to an end this month.

Wigan hope to keep Mulgrew at the DW Stadium beyond his season-long loan spell and Rovers are unlikely to stand in their way.

Mulgrew is currently injured, but would have been given permission to play in the FA Cup by Rovers had he been available, with the Scotland international having made 13 appearances this season.

“I think we’re coming to a point when those conversations will be had again,” Mowbray said of Wigan’s interest in Mulgrew.

“I go in to the same context, I’m trying to move the team and us all forward, they’re big decisions.

“The picture in my mind doesn’t change, we have to move this squad on, this is an opportunity to do that.”

Mulgrew is just one league game short of reaching a century for Rovers since arriving as a free transfer in the summer of 2016.

He penned a new contract at the end of 2018 through to 2021 but was allowed to leave on loan in the summer after being left out of the final six matches of last season.

His departure left Rovers with just three senior central defenders, following the arrival of Manchester City loanee Tosin Adarabioyo, and he, along with Derrick Williams and Darragh Lenihan have all had injury problems so far this season.

Rovers will look to add to their defensive ranks in January, but have no plans on recalling Tyler Magloire, Scott Wharton and Matty Platt who are out on loan, nor Mulgrew who could now leave permanently.

That would free up money in the budget, with the Scot among the club’s top earners.

But Mowbray warned: “The summer window is the best time to rotate four or five players around or to really improve because you get six weeks to then bed in your systems of play and the new players get an understanding of how you work, what the discipline is, how you set everything up and the culture of your club.

“It’s difficult to bring someone in during January and expect them to hit the ground with what you do.

“Let’s see what the next few weeks bring. They’re not headaches for me.

“If they move on, they move on. If they don’t, that’s fine. I’m pretty relaxed.”