A TRIO of new signings could be on their way to Doncaster Rovers as the club continues the fight to hold on to star men James Coppinger and Billy Sharp.
Rovers look set to snap up Bury’s talented young winger Kyle Bennett, former Leeds United skipper Richard Naylor and Sheffield Wednesday left back Tommy Spurr.
But they are still battling to keep goal machine Sharp and the mercurial Coppinger following rumours that increased bids for both men have been made this week.
Rovers rejected a bid totalling £2.6 million for the dynamic duo from Championship rivals Ipswich Town a month ago.
Since then Ipswich have signed former England Under 21 striker Michael Chopra from Cardiff for £1.5 million.
But Town boss Paul Jewell is still believed to be keen on 30-year-old Coppinger, who was valued around £300,000 in the original offer, and there have been reports that he has been in with an increased bid.
Ipswich may have filled their striker slot but Sharp is still thought to be attracting interest from other clubs.
However, the former Sheffield United man is happy at Doncaster and may not be interested in a move elsewhere unless it comes from a Premier League club.
Club chairman John Ryan admitted there had been further interest in both players but added: “The situation hasn’t changed because we want to hold on to them both and we haven’t had a bid yet that we have been tempted to seriously consider.
“Season ticket sales are edging towards 4,000 which is a bit more encouraging and, if we sold 6,000, we would be better placed to stave off these offers.
“The directors are doing all they can to hang on to our best players while, at the same time, bringing others in to strengthen the squad for next season.
“We have three lined up already and more to come.”
Rovers are believed to have beaten off a late bid by Blackpool to reach agreement with 23-year-old Spurr who has made over 200 first team appearances for the Owls.
The defender is currently on holiday but is expected to sign on his return in a £200,000 deal, subject to a medical.
Bennett is the younger brother of Elliott Bennett, who recently made a big money move to Norwich.
Sources at Bury rate Kyle highly and reckon the lightening fast 20-year-old winger can eventually emulate his brother by playing in the Premier League.
He has turned down the offer of a new contract but it is believed the two clubs have failed to agree on a fee with the Shakers placing a six-figure valuation on him and the issue will probably be decided by a tribunal.
Rovers are also thought to have agreed terms with Naylor, who has captained Ipswich and Leeds with distinction, and is seen as the leader on the pitch the club may have been lacking.
They have other irons in the fire but much will depend on whether they can hang on to Sharp and Coppinger.
n Rovers were given a tough start when the fixtures (see panel) were released with a 470-mile round trip to newly promoted Brighton to start the season on August 6.
They then face glamour club West Ham for the first time in 50 years in their first home league game.