Lifelong Rovers fan Tomlinson and Ryan are believed to have been in secret talks for around six weeks after teaming up to launch a shock bid to buy out Ryan’s fellow majority shareholders Terry Bramall and Dick Watson.
Former chairman Ryan – who stepped down last November but who still owns a quarter of the club – and Doncaster-born Tomlinson are setting up a trust to take over at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Negotiations are at an advanced stage regarding their formal bid to buy out Rovers, with Tomlinson famously making an appearance for the club’s development squad against Rotherham United earlier this year.
Both Tomlinson and Ryan were unavailable for comment yesterday regarding talk of any potential fresh developments.
Late last week, Rovers confirmed that discussions had taken place with external parties regarding a proposed takeover, revealing that the owners were keen on a swift resolution to the talks.
A statement said: “Following reports in the media, the owners of Doncaster Rovers can confirm that they have been approached and dialogue has taken place with external parties about a proposed takeover.
“The owners are looking to ensure a swift resolution to the discussions to ensure that this does not impact adversely on the summer transfer activity.”
As it stands, Rovers manager Paul Dickov remains effectively in limbo regarding bringing in new summer signings for the second successive summer.
Ryan’s relationship with Bramall deteriorated during the autumn ahead of his dramatic decision to resign as a chairman and director on November 9.
Meanwhile, Dickov is waiting on developments before hopefully kick-starting his summer recruitment programme.
Rovers have offered contracts to eight players whose deals are due to expire at the end of this month, including Ross Turnbull, Paul Keegan, David Cotterill and James Coppinger.
Most are believed to be on reduced terms.