In-demand Sharp ready to pull on a Rovers shirt again

STRIKER Billy Sharp will put aside speculation surrounding his future and return to action for Doncaster Rovers this afternoon.

Sharp has been in talks with Leicester City this week after a fee in the region of £2m was agreed between the two clubs.

However, with no agreement on wages, Sharp is still a Rovers player and was offered a new deal this week by chairman John Ryan.

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Rovers manager Dean Saunders said: “I’ve spoken with Billy and we’re trying to make some agreement that he stays.

“He’s available for us to play on Saturday and I think he’ll be involved.

“If he carries on the way he has been, there will still be a queue of clubs wanting to take him at the end of the season. He’s a good lad who just wants to play and get his future sorted. It’s something that needs to be right or else he won’t go.”

Fulham, Wigan Athletic, West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City have also been monitoring Sharp in recent weeks but have yet to submit offers.

Rovers, who host Carling Cup semi-finalists Cardiff City this afternoon, have still to resolve the future of Senegalese international El-Hadji Diouf.

Saunders said: “He has agreed his contract, it’s just a case of ironing out a few things and getting him to sign. We’re trying to get the right funds so he signs because I want to keep him and Sharp.”

Talks are on-going with West Ham United about a possible return to the Keepmoat Stadium for defender Herita Ilunga but Saunders said: “He’s owed an awful lot of money by West Ham and would have to get a settlement figure off them before he comes to us.”

On-loan French midfielder Damien Plessis is set to make his debut for Rovers this afternoon and Saunders says his move to the club will generate income in the transfer market.

“We’ve got a deal with Panathinaikos where, if he moves on, we get a share of the fee,” Saunders said.

“It’s going to be tough throwing him in to the Championship but Plessis is a player that we’re looking to bring on slowly.”

Looking ahead to today’s game, Saunders said: “Hopefully Crystal Palace might have taken a bit out of Cardiff during the week – both physically and mentally (in the Carling Cup).

“We know their strengths and weaknesses.

“They conceded from a set piece against Palace but they have a manager who has got a workman-like side playing for him and we’ll have to match them.”