No sooner had Tony Mowbray started discussing the January transfer window, and calls being fielded for both incomings and outgoings, than his phone went off in Thursday’s press conference.

The Rovers boss says conversations are ongoing, but nothing concrete has been agreed for arrivals or departures, this month.

Midfielder Corry Evans has been the centre of speculation this month, with Stoke City, managed by his international boss Michael O’Neill, credited with interest.

Mowbray wouldn’t be drawn on specifics, of either signings or exits, but with Rovers working to a tight budget this month, says a balance act lies ahead.

Rovers’ transfer plans have been thrown up in the air by the season-ending injury to top scorer Bradley Dack, which could lead to a new striker, or wide player, being recruited this month, with Rangers wide man Jordan Jones among those to be linked.

“There are plenty of conversations, sometimes you get in a bit of a stand-off whether you want to let this player go before you bring someone in, because sometimes there is a perception is that you don’t make yourself stronger, you make yourself weaker,” Mowbray said.

“I think we’re in that stage, having conversations. The conversations to bring people in is like any early negotiation, they’re very expensive. They become less expensive when you’re the only caller in town and trying to sign that player.

“Let’s wait and see, a few days, weeks, I think there will be some movement.

“I sit here and say that after some conversations ‘that’s not going to happen’ but then the phone goes and it’s that club phoning you back because you haven’t phoned back.

“We’re playing the waiting game. I know that can be frustrating for supporters who want you to sign a dozen new players, but that’s not going to happen.

“January isn’t a great window to sign players because they have to get used to what you do, how you play. I know it can be a positive, Villa last year, (Tyrone) Mings came in and was an amazing signing.

“I don't think the level we are financially we’re going to bring in a real game-changer. It’s not easy looking for a relatively cheap Bradley Dack who does what Bradley does and can score a dozen goals between now and the end of the season.

“We’ll keep working, looking, asking the questions, keep fielding the questions. It’s positive that other clubs are phoning about some of our players.

“That tells me that we’ve got some half decent players now that people are interested in.

“We don’t have to fight them off, the philosophy will be to try and add to our squad not deplete it.”

Mowbray says focus could be on the lower leagues for new recruits, but that figures being quoted in the early weeks of the window have priced Rovers out.

And when it comes to outgoings, he says there has to be a judgement call of how beneficial money in the bank is at this stage of the campaign.

He added: “There are a few players who clubs have asked about. It’s a balance.

“Do you think ‘that’s a good number for a player’ but then what good is the money rattling around in your pocket if the player you want, the team want three times what you’ve just got for your player.

“Why would you sell your player if you’re not able to replace them with the player you want?

“I’ve always said it’s about choices. We need lots of choices in lots of areas.

“We’re trying to get the key attributes of a footballer in the positions you want.

“Can we find a 24-year-old Stewart Downing? Probably not on a free transfer from a lower league. Someone who’s really talent, good on the ball, rarely gives it away, creates chances, they’re hard to find.

“We’re out there asking questions of the ones we’ve tried to identify. Generally if you go down the leagues, these players are generally that club’s best player.

“So when Blackburn Rovers ask the question they can pick a number out of the air, even if they have never sold a player in 100 years for that price.

“Let’s see what happens in the next few weeks. I can’t give you any concrete info. The phone is ringing both ways.

“We’re making some enquiries, other people are asking about some of our players, that’s this time of the season.

“You’re trying to focus on the football and not spending hours on the phone, a lot of that wasted by agents who are just salesman really to create their business.

“In the meantime let’s play some games, we’ve got a big game against Preston, a local derby, and one we’re hugely looking forward and hopefully we can get our points total ticking on again.”