Rovers are keen on a move for Jarrad Branthwaite this month and are looking to press ahead with their plans to bring in the Everton central defender.

Branthwaite was on the bench for the Toffees’ FA Cup win over Rotherham United, and has been an unused substitute for their last three Premier League matches.

However, Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti has stated he would be willing to allow the 18-year-old to spend the second half of the season away from Goodison Park, with Rovers primed to press ahead with their plans to add a loan defender to their ranks ahead of the visit of Stoke City.

Bournemouth are the latest club to join the race to land the defender on loan, but the former Carlisle United youngster is understood to be Rovers’ main target, with conversations continuing. 

“It’s about trying to get the player we feel can help us rather than rush into a market and get a centre half just because it says on the squad he’s a defender,” Mowbray told the Lancashire Telegraph.

“We have to get the balance right of the team and we’re trying.

“We talk to clubs, they talked about the FA Cup and being in the squad.

“We’ll wait and see, but we’ll know more early this week.”

Rovers are in the market for at least one new centre back on loan with Daniel Ayala, Derrick Williams and Scott Wharton all currently out injured.

Bradley Johnson lined up at centre half for the third time this season in the FA Cup defeat to Doncaster and would be primed to do that again should Rovers not be able to source a new defender in time for the visit of Stoke City.

That is something Mowbray is keen to avoid, not least with promotion-chasers Swansea City also due at Ewood Park in a week’s time.

Mowbray has before discussed how compromise must be reached between what Rovers are able to pay and Premier League clubs willing to compromise on, given the disparity.

Cedric Kipre, a summer transfer target for Rovers, has been mooted as being a possible addition this month, however the Premier League club are expected to warrant the majority of his salary to be covered to give them wiggle room in the market as they battle against the drop.

Rovers would only be able to offer up to half of the Ivorian’s Hawthorns salary, which is ruling out any possible move this month, as things stand.

Stoke City defender Liam Lindsay has been on their radar previously, with the left-sided defender available this month, though nothing has progressed on that front as of yet.

Liverpool’s Sepp van den Berg is one player Rovers have enquired about, however the 19-year-old Dutchman is set for a move to Europe, with clubs in Germany, Holland and Switzerland vying for his signature.

“The people we’ve asked about, the salary levels are unbelievable, even some of the bigger clubs in the Championship,” Mowbray said.

“Their salary levels are miles away from where we can get to and they’re not going to let them out unless we can get to the numbers they’re asking and it’s really difficult.”