Richie Smallwood is a man in demand, with the midfielder free to leave Rovers before Friday’s 11pm deadline.

League One promotion chasers Sunderland have been credited with interest in the Rovers midfielder who is yet to feature in a matchday squad this season.

Tony Mowbray is relaxed about possible departures for his fringe players, with Smallwood and Dominic Samuel among those who Rovers will listen to offers for.

Smallwood is in to the final six months of his contract at Ewood Park having signed an extension to the deal when joining from Rotherham United in 2017 after helping Rovers to promotion from League One.

The combative midfielder was an ever-present in the promotion campaign and those qualities are likely to attract interest from teams looking to get out of the third tier.

There is also said to be interest from Championship clubs in Smallwood who has played 87 times for Rovers, but only twice this season, both in the Carabao Cup.

Smallwood, who has played six times for the Under-23s, has seen options limited at first-team level since his red card at Sheffield United in December 2018 which opened the door for the emergence of Lewis Travis.

The former Middlesbrough man has played just 10 times since then and hasn’t featured in a matchday squad in the league this season.

He was part of the travelling party to Portugal last week, and continues to train with the first-team squad, with Mowbray leaving a decision over his future to the midfielder who opted to stay and fight for his place last summer.

“I think Richie Smallwood has a decision to make, not me. I gave Richie my strong opinions in the summer window,” Mowbray said earlier this month.

“He chose to stay, to keep going to see if he could break in. That was fine by me, I gave him the option and told him what was going to happen.

“He chose to stay so my conscience is pretty clear.

“This window he has a decision to make. I’m supportive whichever way he goes.

“I gave him the contract because he has been amazing for this football club. He was outstanding in League One to help this club bounce back from that division.

“He helped us consolidate last season but as I’ve said many times, I’m trying to move the club forward and the team on, and every window gives you the chance to do that.

“My personality is that I don’t ostracise players and tell them that they’re not training with the group, you're with the kids or coming in at 4pm, I don’t do that.

“If they’re good human being and show respect then they can train with the team and Richie knows the situations. It’s his decision rather than mine what happens from this stage.”