Doncaster Rovers’ boss Grant McCann has confirmed the club are in talks with the representatives of Paul Downing.
Rovers are keen to sign the centre half permanently after a string of dominant performances during his loan from Blackburn Rovers in the second half of the season.
Blackburn confirmed earlier this month that they would not be offering the twenty-seven-year-old a new deal or triggering the option of a twelve-month extension within his contract.
Downing made twenty-two appearances for Rovers, helping them to the League One playoffs and McCann has told the Doncaster Free Press ‘I’d love to keep him,’ and then confirmed ‘It’s a conversation I’m having with his representatives and a conversation I’ll have with the chairman and Gavin Baldwin (chief executive).’
Downing formed a strong defensive partnership with veteran Andy Butler which was influential in Doncaster’s promotion challenge.
McCann is a big admirer, ‘He’s top drawer,’ he said.
Downing played an important role in helping Blackburn win promotion out of League One in 2018, and boss Tony Mowbray indicated McCann might have competition for his signature telling the Lancashire Telegraph: ‘He did very well at Doncaster, helped them get to the playoffs, and he’s free to go and find himself a new club.’
‘Whether that is Doncaster, we’ll wait and see.’
Downing is an excellent League One defender having also tasted success at that level with Walsall, but he has struggled at Championship level.
He will be a great signing for McCann as he looks to build a squad to go one further next season.
League One is probably his level, but McCann might face competition from Championship club’s with the player thought to be harbouring ambitions of having another crack at the second tier.
My view is McCann will almost certainly get his man.