STEVE Kean is resigned to losing out in his bid to bring Jermaine Jones back to Ewood Park as Schalke continue to price the American international out of the market.

The Rovers boss was keen on sealing a permanent deal for the 29-year-old after he impressed on loan last season but, after struggling to agree an acceptable price with Jones’ parent club, is now seriously exploring other midfield options.

Jones’ Schalke career looked over in January when a bust-up with then boss Felix Magath saw him move to Rovers on loan having been frozen out by the German club.

A change in manager since has made his employers reluctant to sell though and, with the club’s owner a big admirer of Jones, a price tag understood to be nearing £10million is now being asked to ward suitors off.

Italian giants Roma are also understood to be keen on Jones’ signature but sources close to the player insist his preferred destination is still the Premier League and Ewood Park.

Rovers are refusing to be held to ransom for the tough tackling midfielder and won’t pay what they believe is over the odds for a player who will turn 30 before the end of this year.

Schalke have already seen 11 players leave this summer and are understood to be keen on keeping Jones in Gelsenkirchen next season – unless they can find a club willing to pay their asking price for his services.

They are unwilling to allow the player to leave on loan again this season and, unless a price is agreed, are ready to make him a key part of their forthcoming campaign.

Rovers will continue to monitor Jones’ situation in the hope Schalke lower their valuation but Kean has already actively started to look elsewhere in his bid to bolster his central midfield.

Jones made 15 appearances for Rovers in the latter part of last season and, after a slow start, established himself as a firm fans favourite with a series of no nonsense displays.