Tony Mowbray says Rovers are trying to cover a number of bases in the January transfer window.

The trio of out-of-contract first-team regulars, as well as their league position, offer an interesting conundrum to Rovers who are keen to retain the services of their star names in January.

With uncertainty surrounding the long-term futures of a number of players, alongside the need to strengthen, the club face a pivotal of month of adding to their strength in depth.

Leighton Clarkson has returned to parent club Liverpool, the midfielder’s time at Ewood Park cut short at the halfway stage of his loan spell. Another of Rovers’ loan players, Ian Poveda of Leeds United, is unlikely to play again this season following ankle surgery, but the club remain locked in talks over his future.

James Brown will arrive from Irish side Drogheda, though Mowbray expects him to be with the Under-23s initially, with right back set to be a position targeted this month.

That comes with Nyambe one of the players out of contract while Joe Rankin-Costello is needing to convince Mowbray of his immediate fitness.

John Souttar of Hearts and Aberdeen forward Ryan Hedges are targets, most likely on pre-contract deals but possibly for six-figure fees this month, while Sheffield United forward Ollie Burke and Josh Maja of Bordeaux are likely to come back on the radar after being targets in the summer.

Fulham right back Cyrus Christie has been linked, while Manchester City midfielder Tommy Doyle could become an option if his parent club recall him from his time at Bundesliga II side Hamburg.

It promises to be an intriguing month, by the end of which Rovers want to ensure they have kept hold of top scorer Ben Brereton as well as their out-of-contract players Ryan Nyambe, Darragh Lenihan and Joe Rothwell as well as Brighton duo Jan Paul van Hecke and Reda Khadra.

Mowbray says that while there will be funds available they won’t be awash with cash, with Rovers taking into account both the short and long-term.

He told the Lancashire Telegraph: “The recruitment is at a really delicate stage.

“We have got quite a few footballers coming towards the end of their contracts, we’re trying to engage and are having a few issues.

“Without going into specifics we have to recruit for the players who, and these lads won’t down tools, but if the games are getting feisty and they are in danger of damage, we’ve had some pretty bad injuries in recent times to some good footballers and I would never question their integrity other than I need to make sure the club is covered in areas.

“As an example, if the right back (Nyambe) isn’t going to sign, we need to sign a right back. Joe Rankin-Costello is not showing me at this moment, he played 45 minutes for the Under-23s in a 4-2 win at Middlesbrough, but if that was Ryan coming off with a hamstring injury I’m not sure who is playing right back.

“Are we putting John Buckley from 10 to 2? We need to recruit and we’re trying to cover a lot of bases.

“We need to recruit in various parts of the pitch and hopefully we’ll get that done whether it’s loans, purchases or cross-border compensation, we’re trying to do deals to make sure we strengthen the group.

“We aren’t going to have millions to spend and that’s how the recruitment is at the minute.

“It’s intense around our building as to where we’re going with the players.”

Clarkson has returned to Rovers while Rovers face a decision over Harry Chapman’s future, with the winger coming to the end of his time at League One side Burton Albion.

He scored his first Brewers goal in their weekend win over Crewe Alexandra.

The futures of Tyler Magloire, Hayden Carter and Dan Butterworth will come into focus, with the prospect of loan moves, while Under-23s forwards Sam Burns and Connor McBride are set to move to Scunthorpe United and Crewe Alexandra respectively.