Rovers are continuing discussions with Bradley Dack over a new deal – with Steve Waggott mindful of the contract situations of the club’s key men.

Dack is closing in on a return to action having made excellent progress since undergoing surgery at the end of 2019 on an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury sustained in the 0-0 draw with Wigan.

Rovers hope the 26-year-old will be back in action before the end of next month, with Dack having shone since his £750,000 move from Gillingham in 2017.

Since then he has signed one contract extension through to 2021, but Rovers do have a 12-month option in their favour within that deal. However, the club are mindful of Dack’s contractual situation ahead of his return to action, and have been in talks with him for some time over fresh terms.

Those have been complicated by his injury, as well as the Covid-19 pandemic and Dack switching agents during the course of the negotiations.

A new deal would move Dack in line with the club's top earners, given he has signed just one extension his move over three years ago from Gillingham when the club were in League One.

Ryan Nyambe and Joe Rankin-Costello are two of Rovers’ upcoming prospects in to the final year of their respective deals, with Adam Armstrong also likely to be under consideration for a new contract after his stellar performances in 2020.

Armstrong does however, have two years left on his deal, as does Darragh Lenihan, with Lewis Travis, another of the club’s star assets, under contract until 2023.

Tony Mowbray indicated last month it was a situation the club was mindful of, and something he had discussed at length with the owners in a bid to protect Rovers’ main assets.

Asked about the contract situations at the club, chief executive Steve Waggott told the Lancashire Telegraph: “We know exactly the assets we’ve developed because that was part of the remit, to have a look at building assets within the squad, and the ones that you’re referring to, talks started a while ago with one and they will continue.

“We have told the owners that we have to be engaging with other players as well to get them on longer-term contracts if we can, and if they will sign, so we can retain the assets so that if any clubs come in for our assets, and there’s been talk about some about some of our players which is good, but we have to protect them so if they do have to go, we get the right terms for them.”

Rovers have made one permanent signing this summer, bringing in goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski from AA Gent, but do still require strengthening in their defensive ranks.

Permanent signings are the preferred option, but targets Cedric Kipre and Daniel Ayala have slipped away, leaving Rovers without any defensive signings this summer.

Mowbray has utilised the loan market throughout his time in charge, including three loan moves last summer, as well as Harrison Reed and Kasey Palmer in the 2018/19 campaign.

However, part of the reason Rovers found themselves in need of options in goal, and defence, this summer, was down to their loan dealings last summer.

And Waggott added: “We want to acquire the asset of a player, because it’s great bringing in players on loan but unfortunately you develop the player and then hand them back.

“You pay a contribution to their wages but you still have a void in the team that you have to fill again.

“We have a Category One Academy so we have to keep pushing through with that. We have a very bright set of scholars coming through, some good young players in the squad who are developing quickly, we also have the likes of Armstrong, Brereton and Gallagher, so the average age of our squad is pretty low now.

“That will come with a lot of legs and energy, but also a bit of inconsistency, we have to look at potentially look at bringing in some more experience to balance out the squad and then I think we will be okay.”