Doncaster Rovers: Talks begin over deal for Paul Downing
Doncaster Rovers have commenced initial talks with the representatives of Paul Downing over potentially signing the centre half on a permanent basis.
Downing impressed greatly during his loan from Blackburn Rovers in the second half of the season.
Blackburn confirmed earlier this month that they would not be offering the 27-year-old a new deal or triggering the option of a 12-month extension within his contract.
But Rovers are ready to offer the defender a new permanent home.
"I'd love to keep him," boss Grant McCann said.
"It's a conversation I'm having with his representatives and a conversation I'll have with the chairman and Gavin Baldwin [chief executive]."
Downing made 22 appearances after arriving at the Keepmoat in January to cover for Joe Wright's injury, and he forged a strong partnership with Andy Butler in particular.
McCann said: "He's top drawer.
"To come in and replace someone of Joe's quality. He just came in like a duck to water and cruised through it.
"He's calm and composed, he knows the league and he loved it here.
"The conversation I had with him on Tuesday was him thanking me and Cliff [Byrne, assistant].
"He couldn't believe how much he'd enjoyed it."
Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray believes Downing will not be short of suitors this summer.
“He was a fantastic character around our team and around our club," Mowbray said. “He helped us get out of League One. “He wanted to go and play football and wasn’t getting enough game-time with us so he moved on.”