Lewis Hardcastle is close to sealing a move to Barrow AFC, according to the National League side’s manager.

Hardcastle has enjoyed a month long stay with the Bluebirds which was extended for a further month on Wednesday.

However, Barrow boss Ian Evatt is hopeful the 20-year-old, who is out of contract at Ewood Park in the summer, could secure a permanent move to the club.

Hardcastle, who spent the first half of the season with Port Vale before being recalled to Rovers, has yet to make a senior appearance for the first team.

He has been a regular in the Under-23s set up, and captained them to the Premier League 2 Division Two title last season.

But like Willem Tomlinson, his midfield partner in the Under-23s for several years, Hardcastle could be set for pastures new. Tomlinson, whose Rovers deal was also set to expire, left the club in January before securing a contract with League Two side Mansfield.

Hardcastle scored in Barrow’s midweek win at Wrexham, and Evatt told the NWE Mail: “Initially, we took him on a month’s loan, but we are close to agreeing a permanent deal with Lewis.

“That isn’t too far away and hopefully we’ll have that tied up by the end of the week.”