Bristol Rovers join heated transfer race for ex-Birmingham City prospect

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Transfer rumours are beginning to emerge as Bristol Rovers get linked with a League Two defender - but so are others.

Bristol Rovers are apparently keen on signing Tranmere Rovers full-back Josh Dacres-Cogley, but face competition.

EFL journalist Alan Nixon, who runs his own Patreon, as well as writing for The Sun, claims that the Gas are ‘keen’ on signing Dacres-Cogley. Rovers could face competition to sign the right-back however with Burton Albion, Lincoln City, and Port Vale all apparently interested.

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BristolLive say that Rovers have already made enquiries to Dacres-Cogley's representatives about his wage expectations and added that Rovers are said to be looking at several players in the right-back/right wing-back position.

The 27-year-old is out of contract at the end of the month and is free to speak to prospective new clubs about a move away from Prenton Park. Dacres-Cogley has been with Tranmere for two years and was ever-present in League Two, getting four assists and a goal. He made 52 appearances in total this season and captained the side in the EFL Trophy.

His previous clubs include Crawley Town and Birmingham City, and he also played 23 times in the Championship for the Blues, playing under Gary Rowett and then former Chelsea striker Gianfranco Zola. He previously started out as a winger but was moved to right-back, where Rovers already have James Gibbons and Luca Hoole.

Joey Barton’s long-term plan is to convert Luca Hoole into a centre-back, and he has played there several times in various formations, but the 21-year-old had a good spell in the second half of the campaign when he was reverted back to right-back.

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Meanwhile, Rovers have tied down midfielder Grant Ward to a new two-year contract. He along with Josh Grant was offered new terms, and now both of their senior players have committed their future to the club in a major boost to Barton’s plans for next season.

Ward joined on a free transfer in January after his contract with Blackpool expired, and he made a tremendous impact, playing in every single match since he joined, with his long-term injury problems seemingly behind him. He was a capable replacement for Jordan Rossiter who had been injured since December and netted the match-winning goal against Fleetwood Town.

"Grant joined us on a short-term deal in January and his quality was there for everyone to see," said Barton when the new contract was announced.

"It was a no-brainer to secure his services for the next two seasons. He brings experience to our group and he will be an asset to Bristol Rovers as we move forward.”

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Ward’s new contract means a return for Liam Sercombe is now unlikely, though he was only considered for a return in January 2022 when the Gas were in League Two. He is attracting interest from League One, but a return to the Mem is not on the cards.

Social media reports also linked Coventry City and Sheffield Wednesday with a move for star attacker Aaron Collins, but we understand that is far off the mark. Stoke City are interested in the 16-goal forward however as they look to League One for their rebuild under Alex Neil.

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