Southampton have added their name to the list of clubs showing an interest in Rovers’ top scorer Adam Armstrong.

West Ham have shown a long-standing interest in the 29-goal frontman, with Newcastle United Brighton & Hove Albion previously credited with interest, while the Lancashire Telegraph revealed last month that Fulham had made their interest known.

Rovers are trying to extend Armstrong’s contract beyond the current 2022 expiry date in a bid to keep hold of the player who joined in a £1.75m deal in 2018 from Newcastle, and have held talks with his representatives.

However, it remains likely that the 24-year-old will move on this summer, with the Daily Express reporting that Southampton are stepping up their pursuit and are preparing a £15m bid.

With Newcastle due a 40 per cent slice of the profit on any deal that would see Armstrong leave Ewood Park, it is understood that Rovers want to hold out for £20m for the striker.

Armstrong scored 29 goals in all competitions in 2020/21, adding to his 17 in the previous year, and made a name for himself as one of the second tier’s most deadly finishers.

He now has 64 goals in Rovers colours since first signing on loan from Newcastle in January 2018, a deal which became permanent in the summer.

Newcastle accepted a cut-price fee for Armstrong, who himself took a reduction in wages to make the move, and the sell-on clause and contract expiry are two mitigating factors in Rovers’ hopes of securing a top fee for the striker.

Ollie Watkins left Brentford last summer, joining Aston Villa in a deal worth around £30m after hitting 26 goals for Brentford in 2019/20, that money reinvested in Ivan Toney who finished above Armstrong in the scoring charts this season.

More clubs interested in Armstrong’s services will help push up any prospective fee, but Rovers are keen to hold out for at least £20m.

Southampton finished last season 15th in the Premier League. Their striking options include Danny Ings, who managed 12 goals despite an injury-hit campaign, and Che Adams who has been named in the Scotland Euro 2020 squad. They have also added Theo Walcott to their ranks on a permanent basis from Everton, but Ralph Hasenhuttl is said to be in the market for another forward.

Armstrong finished the season in blistering form, scoring hat-tricks in back-to-back Ewood matches to finish with 28 Championship goals, and one in the Carabao Cup.