Rovers have taken up the one-year option in the contract of top scorer Ben Brereton.

Brereton is now under contract to 2023 but for the second successive summer Rovers face speculation over the future of their top scorer.

But despite the re-emergence of links to West Ham United and the long-term mention of Sevilla, there is no firm interest in the Rovers top scorer at this stage.

Rovers were always expected to take up the option in Brereton’s contract to tie him down to the club for a further 12 months, with that confirmed ahead of the release of the retained list which has to be published before May 21.

The expectation is that despite the option being taken up that Brereton will leave this summer, with Rovers likely to hold out for more than the £15m banked from the sale of Adam Armstrong to Southampton last season.

Brereton had looked on course to beat Armstrong’s haul of 29 goals after hitting 20 before the end of 2021, but with his Chile commitments and an ankle injury ruling him out for periods in the second half of the campaign, he finished with 22, including a stunning strike on the final day at Birmingham City.

Interested clubs will have to stump up the cash for Rovers to sell however, and while interest is set to rise as the summer goes on, there is no firm interest at this stage.

While the Premier League is the most likely option for Brereton, starring on the international stage with Chile has opened the prospect of a move overseas, with La Liga a possible destination.

Rovers return to pre-season training in five weeks, and given the Armstrong situation wasn’t resolved until after the start of this season, there is the prospect of Brereton at least being among the players to report back.

He may be afforded extra time off however, given Chile have international matches in June.

With a new contract appearing an unlikely prospect, Rovers could opt to keep hold of Brereton for next season and run his deal down. However, given that Brereton turns 24 in April, they wouldn’t be entitled to any compensation for him, with the attacker able to leave as a free transfer in that scenario.

Nottingham Forest do have a sell-on clause following his £6m move to Rovers in the summer of 2018, but that isn’t understood to be anything significant, a far cry from the slice that Newcastle United took from the sale of Armstrong last year.

Brereton is understood to be relaxed about his future, having enjoyed his best season yet in terms of goal output and currently is enjoying some time off.

Tony Mowbray has outlined that he expects Brereton to leave the club this summer, and stressed that if he is, then part of that money must be reinvested into the team to help Rovers grow.

Having spent almost £13m in the first two summers after promotion from League One, bringing in Brereton, Armstrong and Sam Gallagher, Rovers have had an outlay of around £2m in the last five transfer windows.

Six-figures fees have been spent on Thomas Kaminski, Harry Pickering, Tayo Edun, Dilan Markanday and Ryan Hedges, all who are tied down to long-term contracts.

Mowbray says he is grateful to the owners for their support in buying Brereton, and hoping his sale for a fee likely to be at least three times his the original outlay will show the value in following such a model.

The outgoing Rovers manager said: “My big debate is that you have to reinvest.

“You sell Adam Armstrong and you have to reinvest, you have to put money back into the team, otherwise the team gets worse, it doesn’t get better.

“So if Brereton is to get sold that has to be agreed? I would suggest the manager and the owners have to agree what percentage goes back into the team so everyone knows, no-one gets upset, so that if you get £20m and you get 50 per cent you know you’re getting £10m to spend.

“So then you all push the button to sell, you know how much you’ll have to reinvest and which players you can afford, you know what your salary levels are, and that’s how it should be done in my opinion.

“I know we’ve been through Covid and it’s a difficult time, and I know the owners have invested and continue to invest, a lot of money in this football club and maybe a big sale was to get something back?

“Let’s see what the future brings.”

Joe Rothwell and Bradley Johnson have so far confirmed their exits from the club as their contracts draw to a close.

Darragh Lenihan and Ryan Nyambe are both out of contract, but remain in talks with Rovers over extending their deals.

The futures of Jordan Eastham, Jacob Davenport, Dan Butterworth and Harry Chapman will all be clarified by the club when the retained list is published.

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