Timi Sobowale, who spent time on trial at Rovers last season, has again been linked with a move to the club.

It comes as the teenager looks set to move on from Manchester City having played just 27 minutes of football this season, that coming in a Papa John’s Trophy tie with Lincoln City in November.

The 18-year-old was on the bench for the game with Rovers Under-23s earlier this season, but that is his sole involvement in a matchday squad, with a move to MLS side Real Salt Lake City under consideration.

The Republic of Ireland international is said to have held initial discussions and is understood to be open to the move though Millwall, Stoke City and Rovers are also credited with interest.

The versatile defender spent two weeks training at Rovers in late 2019, and first appeared in the Lancashire Senior Cup win over Everton and then the Premier League Cup victory over Middlesbrough. As a trialist, he wasn’t able to feature in the Premier League 2 matches, and missed the Premier League International Cup defeat to Hertha Berlin due to being away with the Republic of Ireland Under-19s side.

Sobowale, able to play across the defensive positions, returned to City without a deal being struck, and is now considering his future once again.

Rovers are well stocked in the defensive positions at Academy level, with Dan Pike on the bench for the first team in the FA Cup, along with Joe Grayson, with Louie Annesley, Sam Barnes and Jake Garrett all having played in the centre of defence for Billy Barr’s side this term.

That makes any move unlikely, with Rovers having focused much of their recruitment at Academy level of late on attacking players. 

The two clubs have strong links however, Rovers having taken D’Margio Wright-Phillips on loan in early 2020, the winger starring in the FA Youth Cup run, scoring in the quarter final win over Arsenal before the coronavirus pandemic put pay to his time at the club.

A permanent deal was considered, only for the possibility to sign Tyrhys Dolan to arise, following his release from Preston, with Rovers moving on that instead.

Wright-Phillips is too struggling for game-time at City, the 19-year-old having made just two substitute appearances in Premier League this season, and like Sobowale, was unused against Rovers.