Blackburn Rovers boss Tony Mowbray has berated his search for a central defender, with wages playing an apparent issue.

Blackburn Rovers are without three first-team centre backs as it stands – Daniel Ayala, Derrick Williams and Scott Wharton are all sidelined. It’s left Mowbray in search of a central options this month and already, several names have come into contention.

One name that seems likely is a loan move for Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite. The 18-year-old made four Premier League appearances last season but is yet to feature this time round, with boss Carlo Ancelotti planning on loaning him out this month.

Sheffield Wednesday are also said to be interested in Branthwaite, but last weekend The Sun on Sunday (10.01.21, pg. 58) claimed that Everton would consider Branthwaite as part of a potential player-plus-cash with Bournemouth for their in-demand striker Josh King.

READ: ‘Mystery’ Championship bidders come in for Barnsley’s £1.2m man Alex Mowatt

Speaking to The Lancashire Telegraph about his transfer woes, Mowbray said:

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

“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.”

Also linked with Blackburn are Liverpool’s Sepp van den Berg and West Brom’s Cedric Kipre. The Frenchman opted for West Brom over Blackburn in the summer, leaving Wigan Athletic after their relegation from the Championship. Having yet to make his Premier League debut for the Baggies though, a loan move looks a likely outcome for him this month.

Blackburn though will need to find some cover this month – Mowbray’s side currently sit in 11th-place of the Championship table but as he’ll already know, a string of poor results can sour a whole season.

With so many injuries in defence and an already questionable defence, fans might be weary heading into their next bout of fixtures, and with no deals seemingly close and Mowbray now admitting his struggles. Up next for Blackburn Rovers is the visit of Stoke City this weekend.