Rovers had looked set to have a free run at the signature of Sunderland goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin – but uncertainty over budgets for next season could allow Rangers to steal a march on Tony Mowbray’s men.

McLaughlin’s deal at Sunderland runs out next month, and their failure to secure a League One play-off spot is likely to see the 32-year-old move on this summer.

The Scotland international is a long-term target of Rovers, who looked at signing him in January, as they make plans  for their goalkeeping department with Christian Walton set to return to parent club Brighton, and back-up option Jayson Leutwiler out of contract.

McLaughlin would seemingly fit the bill, but Mowbray told the Lancashire Telegraph last week that despite agreeing short-term stays for Rovers’ five out of contract players, that will see them through to the end of the 2019/20 season, no plans have been drawn up beyond that.

Rovers were reported to be drawing up a contract for McLaughlin, however, with no budgets set for next season, any talks with McLaughlin’s representatives have only been preliminary.

Sunderland have offered McLaughlin a new deal at the Stadium of Light, but he is still expected to leave at the end of the month, two years after joining from Hearts.

The twice-capped Scotland international could be set for a reunion with the Scottish Premiership however, with Rangers said to have made their move - though those reports could well be done to force Rovers' hand.

McLaughlin will likely want assurances on him being first choice whoever he opts to sign for, with Steven Gerrard having seen two of his goalkeeping options in Jak Alnwick and Wes Foderingham leave Ibrox this month.

Allan McGregor has been first choice under Gerrard and remains under contract at the club, but has retired from international football, which has seen McLaughlin become deputy to Wigan’s David Marshall.