Rovers, Adam Armstrong and those chasing his signature remain locked in a stalemate.

Southampton have made one bid, quickly rejected, not exceeding £10m, meaning there would need to be serious negotiations to get a deal over the line.

It seems the Saints aren’t willing to get close to Rovers valuation of Armstrong, the club not wanting to go below £20m for their star man.

Factored in are his contract situation, with just one year left on his deal Rovers have little protection, and while an offer which would make him the club’s highest paid player remains on the table, it is unsigned.

Then there is the 40 per cent of the profit on the £1.75m deal that brought Armstrong to Ewood Park in 2018 due to Newcastle United, the Magpies watching any developments with interest.

That included links over the weekend that Saints could use striker Michael Obafemi as a way to smooth over negotiations. Reports say including the Republic of Ireland international in negotiations, alongside a fee of around £12m, could be of interest to Rovers.

There would be a benefit to that deal.

Rovers would have a ready-made replacement without having to go into the market armed with the money generated from any prospective sale.

Yet it would also throw up plenty more problems, which means for now at least, it’s not something expected to be worked on.

There is a reason that swap deals are rare, they’re difficult to do.

Southampton will have their valuation of Armstrong and Rovers will have theirs. For any deal to be done, both would need to come to a compromise.

Southampton will too have their own valuation of Obafemi, and Rovers theirs. For any deal to be done, both would need to come to a compromise.

So, rather than deciding on one fee, there would need to be an agreement over two.

Southampton could see Armstrong as being worth in the region of £12m, and Obafemi £8m, totalling the £20m that could tempt Rovers.

Rovers may well view Obafemi's value as different, and therefore want more cash up front to reach their Armstrong price-tag.

Any deal would also hinge on two players agreeing to personal terms.

An ideal scenario for Rovers would be for Armstrong’s future to be resolved quickly but now two months since his final day hat-trick at Birmingham City, little has changed, interest but no takers. And still no new contract signed.

As for Obafemi, would he fit the bill for Rovers?

He has had Championship interest recently, with Swansea City having been keen on a January loan move, only for injury to dampen those hopes, Obafemi not returning to training until April.

He has managed 857 minutes across 32 Premier League appearances for the Saints, scoring four times, but only four substitute outings came last season.

The 21-year-old played four times for Saints’ Under-23s in Premier League 2, including the 1-0 defeat to Rovers in which he was sent off in injury-time.

Academy graduate Obafemi was more involved for Saints in 2019/20, scoring three times against Chelsea, West Ham United and Manchester United, making eight starts and 13 substitute appearances, and featuring in all but seven of their 38 matchday squads.

He is under contract at St Mary’s for a further 12 months, and like Armstrong, faces decision time over his future.

Uncertainty over the future of star man Danny Ings, himself into the final year of his deal and recently turned down an offer, will come into the thinking, as will Ralph Hassenhuttl’s preference to play with two strikers.

It seems Saints don’t have the finance to reach what Rovers would want to buy Armstrong out right, and feel they aren’t being realistic over his valuation.

The use of Obafemi in any swap deal however, while an interesting option, seems unlikely to be the bargaining tool required to get any possible deal done.