Tony Mowbray has stressed Rovers have no intention of losing Derrick Williams after interest from the MLS emerged.

Mowbray revealed Rovers haven’t fielded any enquiries for the defender who is currently struggling with a calf problem and will miss this weekend’s trip to Derby County.

Williams has a year left to run on his Ewood Park contract and hasn’t started a Championship game in 2020, but his versatility remains a valuable asset to the squad.

The defender was named player of the year in his debut season at Rovers and missed just one match in the League One promotion campaign of 2017/18.

But troubled by injury and keen to focus on competing for a place in central defence, the 27-year-old started just half of Rovers’ league games last season and has featured 19 times this campaign.

“By word of mouth it’s landed with me,” Mowbray said of Williams who has played 141 times for Rovers since his switch from Bristol City in 2016, “but unless anyone picks the phone up and puts a number in front of us then there’s no question to answer I would suggest.

“You hear whispers and rumours but no-one has put any money down and made us make a decision.

“My first reaction is that it’s ludicrous, it’s silly, why would we weaken our squad by losing a player who might not be playing in the team at this moment but he’s a solid, experienced, sound player who’s played a lot of football for this club in several positions.

“There’s no decision to make because no-one has picked the phone up and asked the question.”

Darragh Lenihan will serve the second of his two-match ban against the Rams and with Williams absent, Ryan Nyambe will continue his stint at centre half alongside Tosin Adarabioyo.

Williams has missed the last three weeks of action with a calf problem, having also struggled with illness, and will once again be unavailable.

“He’s back on the grass training with the physios on his own, but isn’t back training with the team,” Mowbray explained.

“I’m not sure, Derrick is not far away because he’s got his boots back on and is running up and down and playing side-foot passes with the physios so I presume he’s pretty close to his exit.

“Hopefully he’ll be back with the group soon, but not at this moment.”

Williams’ absence, as well as Lenihan’s suspension, leaves Rovers short at centre half, with full back Nyambe set to continue deputising.

“It is what it is, we have to deal with that and we’ll continue to do that,” Mowbray added.

“One more game and then Lenihan will be back. We have to keep people fit in that department but it was okay last weekend, a soft penalty, watching it back I’m not sure it was a penalty to be honest.

“Lenihan and Adarabioyo, I like that combination. Nyambe and Bell have been producing some good stuff recently and hopefully one more game for Lenihan and we’ll be back to that back four.”