Rovers are continuing to look at pre-contract agreements with players north of the border as part of their succession planning.

The Lancashire Telegraph outlined in November that players in Scotland entering the final months of their deals were being pursued ahead of possible moves next summer.

While Rovers themselves are facing difficulty in agreeing new deals with their own players, they are looking to take advantage of similar situations with players in Scotland.

That is aided by head of recruitment John Park who has extensive knowledge north of the border and arrived at the club in July as a replacement for the outgoing Stuart Harvey.

Ryan Hedges of Aberdeen is one player being pursued, the club having seen a bid in the region of £400,000 rejected for the Welshman in the summer.

Aberdeen have admitted defeat in their quest to keep hold of Hedges who scored in the win over Dundee United at the weekend.

Any pre-contract move would see Hedges move to Ewood Park next summer, with a similar agreement being worked on for Scotland international John Souttar.

The defender is into the final months of his deal at Hearts and has also shown no signs of agreeing a new contract.

That would make the 25-year-old available on a free transfer next summer, with talks able to begin as early as January.

Souttar is closing in on 150 appearances for Hearts, having signed from Dundee United in 2016, and has been capped four times by Scotland.

A host of Championship clubs have been interested in Souttar, including Stoke City where brother Harry was a key man in their side before injury struck.

However, Rovers are looking to steal a march on their rivals and agree a deal with the defender in a bid to plan ahead.

It comes as Darragh Lenihan is one of the players out of contract at the club, while Jan Paul van Hecke is currently on a season-long loan deal from Brighton.

While Scott Wharton is under long-term contract at Ewood Park, 31-year-old Daniel Ayala is out of contract next summer (2023).

Rovers will look to add greater depth to their squad in January, most likely in the midfield and attacking areas of the pitch, they will be aware of the situation with their own contractual issues and be keen to ensure they keep their options open moving forward.

Tony Watt, who had a loan spell at Rovers in 2016, is another player to have been linked with a move to Ewood Park.

However, the Motherwell forward, who has scored 10 in 24 appearances this season, isn’t thought to be a player of interest currently.