It was high-profile exits that were talk of the town on this day in Rovers history, with Dwight Yorke and Chris Sutton among those whose futures were set to lie away from Ewood Park.

Title-winner Sutton had made clear his intention to leave Rovers after their relegation from the Premier League in 1999.

Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal were all lining up bids, with Rovers expected to receive around £10m for his services.

Rovers had resigned themselves to the fact that striker Sutton would be moving on, but played down talks of any possible part-exchange deal with Aston Villa that would have seen Riccardo Scimeca make the move to Ewood.

In 2004, after scoring 19 times in 52 games, Dwight Yorke’s future was uncertain, with Rovers’ chief executive John Williams set to meet with the striker’s representatives to discuss the possibility of a severance settlement.

The club strenuously denied stories suggesting the former Manchester United star would receive a £650,000 golden handshake if he left that summer, despite Yorke’s future having been the subject of intense speculation for some time.

The 32-year-old had been involved in a series of bust-ups with Rovers boss Graeme Souness and the club admitted they were ready to offload the controversial ex-Trinidad and Tobago international if the two parties could come to a suitable arrangement.

Rovers hoped the fact they are prepared to forego a fee for a player who cost them £1.5 million two years earlier would be enough to appease the Yorke camp, despite having year left on his contract.

Four years earlier, midfielder Per Frandsen was told he was free to leave, with the 30-year-old no longer in Souness’ plans.

He became the latest player to be added to the list, with Nathan Blake and Darren Peacock also told to find new clubs.

In 2008, Rovers released Peter Enckelman, Stephane Henchoz and Bruno Berner while in 2006, Paul Dickov was set to join Manchester City after his Ewood departure.

However, Rovers weren’t willing to let Francis Jeffers go on the cheap in 2007, rejecting a bid from Ipswich Town where he had spent time on loan, scoring four goals in nine matches.

Tractor Boys boss Jim Magilton wanted to make his spell in East Anglia permanent and Jeffers was believed to be keen on a move to the Championship club.

But Rovers chairman John Williams said Ipswich had fallen some way short of their valuation of the former Everton and Arsenal forward, wanting a seven-figure fee.

That came as Rovers opened up negotiations with another striker, Shabani Nonda, and his club Roma, with a view to keeping him at Ewood Park on a permanent basis.

One striker deal that did reach a conclusion was Rovers’ pursuit of Luke Varney, with the club poised in 2014 to confirming his signing after his release from Leeds United.

Rovers were also given a boost in their bid to sign Craig Bellamy in 2012 as Newcastle United denied stories they had agreed a fee with Aston Villa to sell the wantaway star.

Villa chairman Doug Ellis claimed that Magpies chief Freddy Shepherd had “accepted a cash offer” for Bellamy and Newcastle team-mate Aaron Hughes, but a statement on the Magpies website then denied a fee had been agreed with any club for either player.

Meanwhile, another Rovers target, Mikael Forsell, was linked with a move to Bundesliga side Schalke.

Mark Hughes was keen on signing the Chelsea striker on a season-long loan but faced competition from Portsmouth, Birmingham and Tottenham.

Rovers weren’t set to face any barriers to signing players in 1998 as new manager Roy Hodgson revealed the club was flush with cash for new arrivals.

“We really are in a nice position now where we can go after the players we want without having to sell,” he said.