BLACKBURN Rovers are expecting significant interest in Benni McCarthy and Jason Roberts this month but a dearth of available striking talent could yet persuade Sam Allardyce to stick with the status quo.

Rovers boss Allardyce has already revealed the club would listen to offers for wantaway striker Benni McCarthy in this transfer window, while Roberts is also believed to be open to offers, but neither will be going in the absence of any suitable replacements.

James Beattie is understood to remain top of Allardyce’s wish-list but the former Rovers man will only be made available by Stoke City if they can add to their own striking options.

No official offers have been made for any of Rovers’ players yet but the club are aware of interest in both McCarthy and Roberts, but will only sell if the price is right and if they can be replaced.

In a quiet transfer market, there is a notable shortage of available strikers who would meet Rovers requirements, with regards price, ability and next season’s home-grown quota.

McCarthy and Roberts have both stated uncertainty over their Ewood Park futures this season, in the absence of regular football, but both have proved in the past they have the experience and talent that could prove vital in a relegation scrap.

Celtic are believed to be leading the chase for McCarthy, while Championship outfit Middlesbrough are understood to be interested in Roberts, but further interest from other clubs is expected as the month progresses.

The club’s immediate priority lies with offloading a few of their fringe players in this January window, to free up a wage bill already higher than wanted, with Zurab Khizanisvili, Keith Treacy and Elrio Van Heerden all players up for sale.

The introduction of the Premier League’s ‘home-grown player’ rule, which stipulates club’s can’t have more than 17 foreign players in their squad, further complicates Rovers transfer business – with their squad already close to their foreign quota.

While Allardyce has stated he expects a ‘very quiet’ transfer window, a striker and a midfielder are the two positions he would look to strengthen and will continue to search for ways to do that.