Two weeks remain of the transfer window and the current landscape suggests Ben Brereton will remain at the club until the end of the season.

Yet looming large is his expiring contract, with the January window likely to provide the final chance for Rovers to recoup any fee for the Chile international who cost around £6m in 2018.

Given that bids didn’t top £10m in the summer however, with only six months left to run, it is unlikely any clubs will test Rovers’ resolve before the window closes on January 31.

That doesn’t mean that Rovers aren’t likely to hear from interested parties though.

And that is due to the pre-contract talks that Brereton, and moreso his representatives, can now have.

There has been a growing feeling that rather than a move to the Premier League, a switch overseas is the most likely for the forward, aided by his exploits on the international scene with Chile.

Sevilla were the first overseas club linked, while Nice made a bid last summer, but it is Villarreal who are understood to be showing the strongest interest.

Rather than look to negotiate with Rovers over a transfer to get Brereton out of Ewood Park this month, they could instead press ahead with pre-contract talks.



When a player is entering the final six months of his deal, he is free to speak with other clubs about joining them when his current contract would expire.

However, that ruling doesn’t apply for players and clubs that both fall under the Football Association's jurisdiction.

Therefore, Premier League and EFL clubs cannot speak with players from rival clubs until one month from the end of their contracts.

With those expiring at the end of June, that therefore rules out the prospect of talks happening during the competition's timeframe.

However, FIFA regulations govern overseas clubs, and indeed those in Scotland, meaning they can begin negotiations with players who are into the final six months of their contracts about signing them when that deal ends.

Such a situation applies to Rovers' top scorer.

In FIFA laws, under, Regulations on the status and transfers of players, it states: "A club intending to conclude a contract with a professional must inform the player’s current club in writing before entering into negotiations with him.

"A professional shall only be free to conclude a contract with another club if his contract with his present club has expired or is due to expire within six months.

"Any breach of this provision shall be subject to appropriate sanctions."



To Rovers, it means they are able to keep Brereton for the remainder of the season, but wouldn’t be able to bank any transfer fee for him.

They too would have a player on their hands whose future lie elsewhere, yet there has never been any wavering on Brereton’s front when it comes to being committed to the cause.

For the buying club, they would be able to get a player on a cut-price deal, but wouldn’t be able to impact on his development until the end of his Rovers contract on June 30.

For Brereton, the likelihood is there will be more choice, and the prospect of a more lucrative deal, should he opt to go down the pre-contract route.

Given there would be no transfer fee, some of that saving would expect to be put towards the player's salary.

However, should Brereton’s preference be to remain in England, and an interested club not be able to strike a deal with Rovers this month, he could opt to wait until the end of the season to make a decision.

Rovers wouldn’t be entitled to any compensation should he move to an English club as he turns 24 in April.

By not committing to any deal now, it would also allow Brereton to make a more informed choice when it comes to the potential of European football, and which clubs would be playing in which competitions.

That does open up the worry of sustaining an injury that could impact on any summer interest, however.



There is the chance that a club, in the Premier League or overseas, feels the immediate need to sign him and stumps up the cash now and a sale is agreed.

However, given Rovers’ valuation of Brereton, which is understood to still be eight figures, that wouldn’t seem likely.

Their stance may change though should a pre-contract deal be in the offing.

Rovers were in a similar scenario themselves 12 months ago when locked in talks with Ryan Hedges over a pre-contract deal.

The two clubs later came to an arrangement that would allow the Dons to recoup some cash in January, and for Rovers to bring forward the deal, but the respective sums aren’t comparable.

The most unlikely of the scenarios is that Rovers agree a new contract with Brereton, though the only hope of that appears to be if the club secure promotion.