Press conference update: Loan deal agreed for Jordan Houghton, Whiteman reaction, Finn Harps youngster set to sign

Rocked by Ben Whiteman's return to Sheffield United, Doncaster Rovers have extended the loan deals of fellow midfielders Jordan Houghton and Rodney Kongolo.

Thursday, 4th January 2018, 2:18 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th January 2018, 2:30 pm
Jordan Houghton

Kongolo’s stay has been confirmed by Rovers.

And a deal to also keep Houghton until the end of the season should be rubberstamped before this weekend’s FA Cup third round clash at home to Rochdale.

Whiteman might yet return to Rovers later in the month but is needed back at Bramall Lane following a glut of injuries.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“Houghton will be coming back,” said Ferguson at his pre-match press conference.

“At one point yesterday I felt maybe both wouldn’t be coming back but we managed to negotiate the deal with Jordan.

“We hope Ben comes back but if he does well and they want to keep him I will go and get someone else.

“We did agree a deal with Chelsea to make it permanent but we couldn’t agree personal terms. It’ll be a loan until the end of the season.

“In the long term the loan might be the best thing, in terms of where we go next season.

“The main thing for me is to focus on this season, so we know we’ve got him. We tried to do the permanent but unfortunately at the moment it’s not going to work out.

“The other thing was that time wasn’t on our side. We had to move quick on this and although we’ve been planning it, and we’ve had talks, when it got down to the nitty gritty we just couldn’t get the permanent deal over the line. These things happen.”

Rovers had agreed a deal to keep Whiteman for the remainder of the season, only for the Blades to have a change of heart.

“You’re never too sure in this game,” said Ferguson. “I was having lunch with my wife and kids and Chris Wilder’s name flashed up on my phone and I thought ‘Agh no!’. I texted him and rang him back and it was the dreaded news.

“He had no choice and I get on well with Chris, I’ve got a great relationship with him and Sheffield United. He’s just got a shortage of bodies in that department. He’s made it known that he’s trying to get one or two in in that department but just can’t do it at the moment.

“It is what it is. He’s got to protect his own club and I understand it.

“There is the possibility if he does do what he wants to do in terms of the market then we’ll get him back but at the moment unfortunately we haven’t got him.”

Ferguson confirmed reports that Rovers are close to signing versatile teenager Shane Blaney from League of Ireland side Finn Harps.

The 18-year-old, who has captained Republic of Ireland Schoolboys, has spent time with Rovers on trial.

Ferguson said: “He came over for a week, left centre half, good player, left-sided helps.

“He’s perhaps not one for now, we’ll put him away, but he’s one we’ve looked at and we like him. It’s pretty much done, he’s probably going to join up with us on Monday.”

Ferguson rubbished reports linking him with 18-year-old West Ham United left back Vashon Neufville.