Rovers remain in ‘ongoing’ discussions with Ash Phillips’ about signing professional terms with the club.

The lingering interest from Tottenham Hotspur continues in the 17-year-old who could be handed a place on the bench for tomorrow’s trip to Swansea City.

In the two-year scholarship deal signed by Phillips last summer, an agreement in principle for a professional contract was reached. That was due to signed on July 1, but six weeks have passed and that remains unsigned.

Talks between the club and the players’ representatives are continuing in a bid to reach a positive conclusion.

While the England Under-17 international remains contracted until the end of the season, that is only on scholarship terms.

On the latest with those talks, head coach Jon Dahl Tomasson said: “I think the club is having a good conversation with the player, the family and the agent. It is an ongoing process, they have very good contact.”

Phillips has enjoyed a remarkable rise since breaking into the Under-18s side at the start of last year.

He has still only played 11 times for Rovers Under-23s, but has trained with the first-team for the last 12 months.

A call-up to the England youth set-up has followed, while he was involved throughout pre-season for Rovers.

And Tomasson added: “He's a young lad who just became 17 and he is massive. 

“Clubs in England, when you play for England youth games you become quite interesting. 

“He has had minutes with me, 45 minutes against Lincoln who are a League One side. 

“That's nice for the boy and for his development. They are ongoing conversations with the family and the club.”

Rovers weren’t able to agree a professional contract with Phillips until he reached 17.

While he is under contract until the end of the season on scholarship terms, a professional contract would offer greater Rovers security over a player seen as one of the brightest prospects in his position.

Tomasson said the interest is no surprise, adding: “That is part of football. When you do well, the eyes are looking at you and that is normal. At the end of the day, you perform and do the right thing.”

Rovers are in a similar position with left back Jake Batty ,who like Phillips has represented England at youth level.

The 17-year-old has been offered professional terms by Rovers, but his deal too is unsigned.

Batty, like Phillips, is into the second-year of his scholarship but has already featured regularly for the Under-23s.

  • Tyler Morton and Sam Szmodics will be part of Rovers’ travelling squad to Swansea City this weekend.

Jon Dahl Tomasson feels the Liverpool midfielder will need more game-time to get fully up to speed, with Szmodics further ahead having played throughout pre-season for Peterborough United and then 70 minutes on the opening day.

The pair were signed as part of a double-deal on Monday as Rovers strengthened their squad after the win over QPR last weekend.

Of their fitness levels, head coach Tomasson said: “He (Tyler) played 90 minutes on Sunday, one game 15 minutes, one 25, I think.

“He needs game time to be even fitter for sure.

“Sammie played the first game where they were 2-0 and they came back to win.

“I think they are quite fit.”

With Sam Barnes ruled out with an ACL injury, Ash Phillips faces the prospect of being added to a matchday squad for only the second time. The 17-year-old was the 19th man for last weekend’s win.

“I will not say yes or not because the boys haven’t got the squad but he was around the squad against QPR,” Tomasson added.

“He was the extra man but he’s a young boy.”

New rules brought in by the EFL allows clubs to make five substitutions for this season.

Tomasson only turned to his bench on one occasion last weekend, but said: “Yes, we will use more normally. We didn’t need more against QPR because we were totally in control.”