Doncaster Rovers closing in on Premier League goalkeeper but other loans may have to wait, warns manager Richie Wellens

Richie Wellens is hopeful he will have a new goakeeper on the training ground when preparations to face Wimbledon step up a level on Friday, but the further loan signings Doncaster Rovers are hoping for may have to wait until next week.

JUGGLING: Doncaster Rovers manager Richie Wellens is trying to eke more out of a pandemic budget
JUGGLING: Doncaster Rovers manager Richie Wellens is trying to eke more out of a pandemic budget

The League One have expressed an interest in signing Sheffield United's Daniel Jebbison on loan next season but are part of a long queue and are not expecting an instant answer.

Wellens's priority is a goalkeeper to challenge Louis Jones and having seen one attempted signing fall through late on this summer, he is optimistic he can bring in a goalkeeper from a Premier League on a short-term basis.

In terms of the rest of his squad, though, it is about juggling the resources he has, with Ben Close recovering more quickly from Covid-19 than John Bostock has, and training disrupted by the whole squad at one point being put into 10 days' isolation, forcing them to take on extra trialists simply to make up the numbers in training. Add in the budget restrictions the virus has brought, and it has been a difficult juggling act.

"It's not done yet but we're very close to a goalkeeper so I'm hoping by the time we're training on Friday morning preparing for the game we have a goalkeeper in the building," confirmed Wellens. "He's from a Premier League club.

"We fully trust everybody involved in the club and the goalkeeper himself so we 100 per cent believe it's going to happen but we need to get that signature on a piece of paper before we can announce anything.

"If we've got three goalkeepers striving to be their very best and one gets ahead of the other and the next one strives to catch him, that's a culture we're trying to get in the club. It's not a case of he plays or he plays."

As to whether there will be any further loan signings this week, the former Swindon Town and Salford City manager said: "I would very much doubt it. There's a meeting on Thursday morning and we'll have a lot more clarity after that.

"I would imagine the week after the Wimbledon game we might be able to fo a couple of things."

Centre-forward Jebbison made history in May as the youngest player to score on his Premier League debut and a number of clubs have expressed an interest.

"We like him, he's a very good player, we'd love to have him but because of his impact and the nature of the way he plays he's obviously got quite a lot of suitors," said Wellens. "We'll leave it to Daniel for him to choose what he feels is right for the next step of his career."

Rovers will have a meeting to discuss transfer budgets on Thursday morning but the difficulty in loaning players out is making decisions harder and Wellens is hopeful that after suffering injuries to the likes of Jon Taylor and Fejiri Okanebirhie, the biggest budget in the club's history can be stretched further.

Bostock and summer signing Close featured in Wednesday's behind-closed-doors friendly against Watford at St George's Park whilst much of the first team was rested so as not to risk them ahead of Saturday's League One opener at home to Wimbledon.

"Ben Close is fine, John Bostock is a little way off, he suffered from long Covid so he was a little bit worse than the other lads," said Wellens.

"We might just need to just be a little bit careful with him."