JOSH Morris is on the verge of leaving Blackburn Rovers for Bradford City – and he could be joined through the Ewood Park exit door by the two other players the club want to move on.

Morris, who has spent the best part of the last 18 months on loan at Fleetwood Town, looked to be heading to Scunthorpe United.


But it is believed that Scunthorpe’s and Fleetwood’s League One rivals, Bradford, are now in pole position to sign the 23-year-old.

Morris has made 23 appearances for Rovers after rising through their Academy ranks.

But the midfielder has not featured for the first team since November 2013 and is one of a trio of players who are not in Gary Bowyer’s plans.

The others are goalkeeper Jake Kean and striker Leon Best.

Lancashire Telegraph: Picture: Action Images

Kean, who was on loan at Yeovil Town and Oldham Athletic last season, has been the subject of interest from League Two outfit Northampton Town.

But it remains to be seen whether that move will happen now that the Cobblers have signed keeper Adam Smith, one of three players sacked by Leicester City for their part in a racist sex video filmed on the Premier League club’s end-of-season tour of Thailand.

Best, meanwhile, seemed set to see out the final 12 months of the lucrative four-year contract he penned following his £3m transfer from Newcastle United in July 2012.

But it is understood that talks to reach a financial settlement with the 28-year-old, who has not played for the club since October 2013, have resumed.

The departures of Best, Kean and Morris would give Rovers boss Bowyer more room to strengthen a squad that, under the terms of the club’s Financial Fair Play embargo, can contain no more than 24 established players.

Lancashire Telegraph: Leon Best

Bowyer currently has 19 established players – those aged over 21 who have made at least five first-team starts for the club – under contract for next season.

But that number will rise, regardless of any free transfers and loan signings Rovers make, if Chris Taylor signs a new deal.

Bowyer has always remained hopeful that the midfielder, 28, reportedly a target for Championship rivals Rotherham United, will pen fresh terms.

Rovers are also continuing negotiations with youngster Darragh Lenihan.

The 21-year-old – who will not be considered an established player until he makes three more first-team starts for the club – has been offered a new and improved contract after breaking into Bowyer’s senior side at the back end of last season.

Fellow first-teamers Paul Robinson, Luke Varney and David Dunn, who is wanted by Bolton Wanderers boss Neil Lennon, have not been offered new deals and will officially become free agents tomorrow.

Last month Josh King turned down a new contract to sign for Premier League new boys Bournemouth.

Under the terms of the Bosman ruling Rovers will be entitled to compensation for the 23-year-old.

They are yet to agree a fee with Bournemouth and if they cannot, it will go to a tribunal.

Winger Paul Taylor, meanwhile, who finished the season on loan at Rovers, is to go on trial with Nottingham Forest.

Rovers return to pre-season training this morning.