Ryan Hedges update as Mowbray hints at new overseas signing

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Aberdeen forward Ryan Hedges
Aberdeen forward Ryan Hedges

Tony Mowbray says Rovers are closing in on a new signing as they look to add to their squad ahead of transfer deadline day.

Rovers were rocked over the weekend by news that new signing Dilan Markanday will miss the remainder of the season with a hamstring injury sustained on his debut in the defeat at Hull City.

Deyovaisio Zeefuik made his debut off the bench in the Middlesbrough win where Rovers’ options were stretched.

Zeefuik is one of four loanees on the books of Rovers, with five able to be named in a matchday squad, though Leeds United winger Ian Poveda is unlikely to feature for several more weeks due to injury.

Loans are the most likely source of business for Rovers who made a permanent move for Markanday earlier this month, while a permanent clause is inserted into the deal of right back Zeefuik.

Rovers have agreed a pre-contract deal with Aberdeen winger Ryan Hedges which would see him move to Ewood Park in the summer once his deal with the Scottish Premiership side ends.

However, fee would need to be agreed should that be brought forward to this month.

Rovers have turned their attention to the European market this month, with Zeefuik having been brought in from Hertha Berlin, with a similar deal for an attacker having been looked at.

And Mowbray says a deal is close for one prospective new recruit.

He said of the club’s remaining business: “It’s looking like loans. We’re trying really hard.

“There’s a chance we could sign a player from abroad.

“They’re not straightforward these deals but we’re trying hard to bring a player in from abroad.

“We’re working hard on loans so let’s see what the end of the week brings.

“It’s to help this group, not replace anyone.”

Rovers were short on numbers against Boro, with Jake Garrett drafted in on the bench having been suspended for the Under-23s win over Leeds United due to suspension.

Mowbray turned to Zeefuik and Dan Butterworth off the bench but wasn’t blessed with many senior options.

He added: “Fitness wise we have to keep going.

“You’d like them all to play 90 minutes but some are coming back from knocks and niggles, you have to be careful with them.

“(Joe) Rankin-Costello wasn’t ever in my mind getting on the pitch having been out for so long and playing the other day.

“Garrett, he’s just a young boy, he couldn’t play for the Under-23s, he’s had some injuries, that’s the challenge for this group of players.

“At Hull I said that it wasn’t easy playing without (Lewis) Travis in central midfield, our wing-backs, (Ryan) Nyambe and (Harry) Pickering, were unavailable, it’s difficult to win any game in this division without your team that’s been winning.

“We can try and disguise and mask, but then we have the monster of a man in (Daniel) Ayala who can’t get in the team.

“We’ve got some positives but it’s looking pretty thin.

“We’ll see what this week brings and look to add one or two if we can.”

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