Tony Mowbray admits it has been ‘a journey to get over the line’ in securing the permanent signature of Sam Gallagher after 12 months of trying.

Mowbray has maintained an interest in the 23-year-old since working with him in the final 15 games of the 2016/17. Rovers were relegated that season, despite Gallagher’s 12 goals, before the striker joined Birmingham City in 2017/18.

But after failed bids to bring him to Ewood Park in the summer of 2018, and then again in January, Rovers have landed their man on a four-year deal, despite significant interest in Gallagher from several other Championship clubs.

Mowbray has been keen to add to Rovers’ striking ranks, adding competition in particular to player of the year Danny Graham, with Gallagher’s physical attributes appealing to the Ewood chief.

“We're obviously delighted,” Mowbray said.

“It was a journey to get over the line, but we've done it and there's still three weeks to go until the start of the season.

“So we've got plenty of time to bed him in to our systems of play, to understand what the expectations are and how we want him to play.

“We're looking forward to getting him started on the grass on Monday.

“I worked with him for 15 games when I first arrived and he's a great guy. He's honest, he works hard, he gives you everything he's got and he looks to have grown a few more inches to be honest.

“I just like his honesty, his hard work and the fact that he wants to be a footballer and a good player. That's what we have to try and mould him into.”

Gallagher scored 12 times in 47 appearances in 2016/17, before seven in 34 for Birmingham City.

However, having stayed at St Mary’s for the whole of 2018/19 and struggling with injury, Gallagher played just six times last term.

“He probably hasn't played as much football as he would have liked over the last few years, but I'm delighted he enjoyed his period of time up here in Blackburn enough that when the choices came for him he wanted to come back,” Mowbray told the club website.

“I'm just looking forward to seeing his raw strength and talent and ability on the pitch, which will hopefully help our team score some goals and win some games.

“Let's hope it's a good period for both of us - the club, the team and for Sam as well."