Doncaster Rovers’ game of patience

Tommy Spurr is one of six players still yet to sign a contract extension
Tommy Spurr is one of six players still yet to sign a contract extension

Paul Dickov is playing a waiting game before putting the finishing touches to his Championship squad.

Dickov is still two senior goalkeepers and seven outfield players short of the 22-man squad he wants - with less than a fortnight to go until the start of the new season.

Rovers’ new boss is “hopeful” that some of his targets will join in time for the club’s final pre-season friendly at Bradford City on Saturday.

However, Dickov’s hands remain tied to a certain extent by the complex talks regarding potential new investment.

Like a domino effect, Doncaster’s summer recruitment is expected to quickly fall into place - should the ongoing investment talks reach a positive conclusion.

But there is currently no indication on the timescale of the talks with the Irish consortium, which makes Dickov’s job a tricky one as the countdown to kick-off gathers pace.

Potential deals for Shay Given, Billy Sharp, Richie Wellens and possibly even Manchester City striker Jon Guidetti could all hinge on the outcome of the talks, while contract negotiations with six existing squad members - Jon Maxted, Paul Quinn, Tommy Spurr, Andy Griffin, Liam Wakefield and Paul Keegan - also remain incomplete.

Rovers, meanwhile, have been linked with a move for Norwich’s out of favour defender Leon Barnett.

The 27-year-old, who was a big hit on loan at Cardiff City at the end of last season, has been told he can leave Carrow Road this summer after falling out of favour with boss Chris Hughton.

Dickov is keen to strengthen in all departments but with Jean-Yves Mvoto’s arrival waiting to be rubberstamped a central defender is not thought to be his current priority.

However, there is concern about Jamie McCombe’s back problem which has flared up during pre-season, while makeshift centre back Spurr is among those yet to sign a new contract.

Rovers will hold an open training session at the Keepmoat Stadium tomorrow night as part of a family fun evening.

Supporters can also meet the first team squad, tour the ground and sample the club’s new line of catering at the free to attend event.

Activities will run from 4pm to 8pm. Training is scheduled to start at 7pm.