Rovers are ready to sanction a loan move for Hayden Carter with League One side Portsmouth in pole position to sign the defender.

Tony Mowbray reluctantly turned down loan offers in the summer to keep Carter around the squad, with the defender having since made 10 appearances in all competitions.

Ideally the manager had wanted the 22-year-old to gain further experience out on loan after impressing during a half season stay at Burton Albion last year.

He signed a new long-term deal at Rovers earlier in the season, and after the recall clause in Jan Paul van Hecke’s loan deal expired, the club are now happy for Carter to move out on loan.

Mowbray wants Carter to follow in the footsteps of Scott Wharton who had three successive loan moves away but since returning to Rovers last season has become a mainstay in the side.

“My view, and it’s a very strong view, is that Hayden Carter needs to go and play football,” Mowbray said.

“He needs to play 20 games if he can between now and the end of the season.

“I want him to know what it takes to play infront of a crowd every week and know what it takes to win when you’re in the team.

“He has had some experiences with us, I’d like him to go and play in a team, like he did at Burton, and get that experience.

“As I say to him and his advisors, Scotty Wharton went out for three years on the bounce.

“I believe these young centre halves need to go and play football somewhere else because when they play for us it’s very difficult.

“We get judged on the results and if they’re not able to do the job, not because of a lack of want but a lack of physicality, Hayden should be going out and playing football.”

Portsmouth, eighth in League One, are looking to add another defender to their ranks after agreeing to let former Rovers defender Paul Downing join Rochdale.

Pompey boss Danny Cowley confirmed his club’s interest in Carter but said any prospective move would come down to Rovers’ willingness to let him go out on loan.

He knows Rovers assistant Mark Venus from their time together at Hornchurch and is hoping for positive news in their transfer search.

“He did very well at Burton Albion by all accounts - obviously played a big part in their revival and their form over the second half of the season, which was just exceptional,” Cowley said.

“So he’s a boy that we’re aware of. We will look to bring another player in in that position and of that profile.

“Hayden Carter is a right-footed centre-half and you’ll all respect that there’s other right-footed centre-halves out there as well, so time will tell.

“We’ve got to be careful because he is a Blackburn Rovers player and I don’t even know if they’ll make him available for loan.”