The future of Darragh Lenihan remains in the balance – with the Rovers managerial situation set to be a key factor in whether the club captain will remain at Ewood Park.

Talks with Lenihan have continued throughout the calendar year, but uncertainty over the club’s next manager is a stumbling block.

Finances are not understood to be an issue following extensive talks, though clarity is needed over the managerial position after the club confirmed the departure of Tony Mowbray.

Lenihan was installed as club captain last summer has ambitions of playing in the Premier League and will want to see those matched by the club and Mowbray’s successor.

Time is of the essence over the prospect of a new deal, with Lenihan’s four-year deal signed after promotion from League One expiring at the end of next month, by which point the players will have returned for pre-season training.

With the new season set to get under way earlier than usual, on July 30, Rovers must move quickly to give the new manager as much time as possible to prepare for the new season, and to address issues such as the future of Lenihan.

The 28-year-old will also be eyeing up a regular place in the Republic of Ireland squad. He earned a first call-up in 12 months during the March international break, only to pull out of the squad because of injury.

Stephen Kenny’s side play four times in the space of 10 days in June, with Lenihan expected to be part of the squad for matches with Armenia (June 4), Ukraine (June 8), Scotland (June 11) and Ukraine (June 14), the latter at a neutral venue.

Lenihan will want his future tied up by then, not least given the expected interest in him.

With Championship clubs tightening their belts, with a predicted drop in the number of transfer fees paid, the free agent market is set to be extremely competitive.

Given Lenihan’s performances throughout the 2021/22 campaign, named in the team of the season, interest is expected to be high.

Rovers are committed to keeping hold of him, as well as Ryan Nyambe, having already seen Joe Rothwell announce his departure from the club at the end of his contract.

But with no firm news on where the club will go in their search for a new manager, it has put those deals on hold.

Rovers have re-opened talks with the representatives of Nyambe over the potential of extending his stay, but like Lenihan, will be understandably keen to see who replaces Mowbray in the Ewood Park hotseat.

Meanwhile, Rovers confirmed that Ben Brereton has had the option in his deal taken up, and are set to finalise their retained list in the coming days.

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