Bristol Rovers Tyler Blackett transfer stance revealed after links to ex-Man Utd defender

Bristol Rovrs had been linked with a move for Tyler Blackett this week. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)Bristol Rovrs had been linked with a move for Tyler Blackett this week. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
Bristol Rovrs had been linked with a move for Tyler Blackett this week. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Tyler Blackett had emerged as a player of interest to Bristol Rovers this week - but their stance has been outlined.

Andy Mangan has not ruled out the possibility of Bristol Rovers dipping their toes into the free agent market after the January transfer window shut.

The Gas brought in five players with Lamar Bogarde and Callum Macdonald making deadline day moves to the Memorial Stadium. Joey Barton wanted up to five signings on the last day of the window, and even considered more departures, but in the end that was their only transfer business they did.

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Bogarde joined on a six-month loan from Aston Villa, becoming the fifth loanee, after Ellery Balcombe and Jarell Quansah had also joined on temporary deals. Macdonald joined from Stockport County, amazingly making the move on Tuesday evening, despite being a substitute for the League Two side.

Several players were released from their contracts on the final day of the window, including city rivals Bristol City releasing Chris Martin and Timm Klose, who could be considered options. Rovers did look at Charlie Austin before his move to Swindon Town, but opted against it. Players remain available from not getting a move after being released in the summer, as well as others such as Connor Wickham, who saw his short-term deal expire with Forest Green in January. It’s an avenue that Rovers could come back to after signing Grant Ward from Blackpool, and Scott Sinclair.

"Who’s available?" was Mangan’s first response when asked if the club were exploring options in the free agent market, after their business had concluded for the first month of the year.

"If I am being totally honest we’ll never stop being aggressive in the transfer market if we feel we can improve the squad and improve the team, to benefit the football club, we are going to do it.

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"For example Tyler Blackett is out there on a free, he’s coming from America. All joking aside if someone is going to present themselves, and we feel it’s going to help us we won’t stop being aggressive to make the team better."

Blackett is out-of-contract after his contract with FC Cincinnati came to an end, and there had been talk about him moving to Wigan Athletic. A change in manager from Kolo Toure to Shaun Maloney however, has meant for now a move has been put on the back burner.

The arrival of Macdonald fills in a gap at left-back, providing cover with Lewis Gordon still getting to grips with professional football at a senior level, whilst Scott Sinclair has played in that position in recent weeks. In recent weeks, Everton loanee Lewis Gibson has been out of action, and so with Blackett able to cover left-back and centre-back, a move would make sense.

The talk on social media was that the former Manchester United youngster was training at Almondsbury, ahead of a possible move. It has proven not to be the case with his next destination yet unknown, as he continues a period of free agency. The door has not been shut on Rovers making a move for him however, but as of now talk of him training is not the case.

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"No, no no, I just seen it the other day," Mangan said. I’m not on social media but I’ve still seen that. We’re not sure what he is doing and he’s obviously a fantaistic player. if he wants to come over and wants to sign then brilliant.

"We’ll have to sort that one out with Tom and Eddy but obviously a really good player. He’s got huge experience, played loads of games in the Championship and done ever so well out there in America. He’d be someone we’d definitely be interested in speaking to, but I’m not sure on that, I’d just seen that on the media side.”

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