Rovers are still to hear back from Stewart Downing on whether he will be extending his stay at Ewood Park - however, just as last summer, Tony Mowbray will be relaxed over what decision the 36-year-old makes.

Rovers have offered Downing a new 12-month contract extension after an excellent first season at the club, but with his Ewood deal now having expired, he is free to talk to other clubs.

Downing had interest from several clubs last summer, before opting for Rovers, and Mowbray is likely to take a similarly relaxed approach this time around, with deadline to be set.

The former England international played 43 times, in a variety of positions, and featured in every matchday squad before left out of the trip to Luton Town last month.

Mowbray played down suggestions that Downing had played his last game for the club, but despite stating he would be keen to extend his time in East Lancashire, Downing’s deal has remained unsigned.

Last summer Mowbray held informal chats on his native Teesside with Downing, as the player weighed up his options after leaving Middlesbrough, and more could be planned for when both return from their holidays.

Meanwhile, Rovers could look at free agent Brad Smith in a bid to add strength in depth at left back.

The Australian is without a club after leaving Bournemouth yesterday having finished the season on loan at Cardiff City where he made three appearances.

Prior to his move to Cardiff, there were suggestions of January interest from Rovers, who also came close to a signing him on loan Liverpool in 2016 only to join Bournemouth for £3m.

Equally, should the Bluebirds look to pursue a permanent move for the 26-year-old, that could open up the possibility of an Ewood return for Greg Cunningham after a knee injury cut short his Rovers stay.

There is expected to be interest from the US in Smith, having spent 2019 with Seattle Sounders where he won the MLS Cup.

Wherever his next month, Smith will be keen to kickstart his career, having played just 51 times, including 11 for Liverpool where he made his debut in December 2013.

Rovers have struggled for consistency at left back since their promotion back to the Championship, with both Amari’i Bell and Derrick Williams having spells in and out of the team, with neither featuring in the final nine games of last season because of injury.

Cunningham looked to have nailed down that position after arriving on loan, only for injury to strike in October which ruled him out for the season.

The Irishman is in to the final year of his deal at Cardiff, and Mowbray last month refused to be drawn on the prospect of an Ewood return.