Rovers have held talks with Charlie Mulgrew and his representatives about the next stages of his career as he continues to be frozen out of first-team action at Ewood Park.

Mulgrew didn’t appear in any of the club’s first-team friendlies in pre-season and has made just one appearance since returning from his loan spell at Wigan Athletic in January.

Fleetwood Town are keen on a move for the Scotland international, but that would require a compromise on the part of Rovers after the introduction of the League One salary cap.

Under the terms of that agreement Joey Barton’s men, who are in the market for a defender, would only be able to pay Mulgrew a salary of up to £2,500 should it be a permanent move, or cover that amount of his wages were it to be a loan move.

The 34-year-old is one of the club’s higher earners and is under contract at Ewood Park until next summer, after signing a two-and-a-half year extension in November 2018, only to leave on loan the following summer.

His appearance at Barnsley in June was his 100th league appearance for the club, but opportunities have been in short supply for the former Celtic man since he cut short his time at the DW Stadium.

But any departure from Rovers would require a compromise, something chief executive Steve Waggott says has been discussed.

“First and foremost he has a contract with the club so therefore Charlie can stay for the rest of the year until June 30 when his contract runs out if that’s the way he wants to pursue his career for the next 10 months,” he said.

“Or, as we’ve had discussions with his agent and himself, what does he want to do for the next steps of his career?

“That’s a conversation that’s been taking place and we’ll wait and see what the outcome is.

“He has a been great servant for the club, he’s a footballer and my view is that you go and play football because there will be years where you can’t play.

“But money does factor in to the equation because they are professional players.”

Asked if the departure of Mulgrew would ease some of the financial burden on Rovers, Waggott added: “It depends on the level we have to compromise and the level of savings we could make.

“Any considerable saving would be helpful because that would go back in to the pot for us bringing in other players.”

The salary cap, voted in by clubs in Leagues One and Two, has drawn criticism, with movement restricted between Championship and third tier clubs.

Danny Graham and Richie Smallwood have both dropped down a division after their respective releases from Rovers, joining Sunderland and Hull City respectively, but Waggott says it has been a barrier to business for some clubs.

“It’s stopped the movement of players down from the Championship to League. The wage gap between the Championship and what you can afford to pay in terms of the salary cap is completely out of kilter,” he added.

“That’s killed a lot of the traffic between the two leagues. Therefore there will be some players that get stuck, unless they’re willing to take a drop.

“Normally they have a weekly wage and if someone offers them 25 per cent of that level then that becomes a really difficult situation for the club, and the player.

“The ownership isn’t just with the club he’s with, it has to be a give and take on both sides.

“Clubs like Sunderland, Ipswich and Portsmouth are having to work with salaries on average of £2,500 per week, in football that’s a huge drop from the Championship.

“It makes those conversations extremely difficult.

“We know what League One clubs can offer, we know what we can offer in terms of what money we need for other things, players, and what the players’ commitment is to move his career forward and keep playing football.”