Joey Barton has discussions with free agents about joining Bristol Rovers

The Gas manager has spoken to a few free agents about joining Bristol Rovers after they failed to find a new club.

Joey Barton has revealed he has had discussions with free agents over the last week about them possibly joining Bristol Rovers.

Despite the transfer window shutting on September 1, the Gas are free to sign players who are not attached to any club, after their contracts expired in June.

Rovers signed ten players in total over the summer months to prepare for their first season back in League One and currently sit 16th in the current league standings.

Josh Coburn, Sylvester Jasper and Bobby Thomas all made Deadline Day moves but there was a desire to recruit a further two players.

A week on from the window shutting, Barton has considered the free agent market and discussions have been had with some potential high profile names.

An attacking addition seems the most likely given that only one winger was brought in after the departures of Elliot Anderson, Luke Thomas and Sam Nicholson.

He said: "I spoke to a couple this week and I was shocked that an ex-teammate of mine, I thought he might come in the Champ, but then he said to me he might have a sniff of a Prem move, which is interesting.

“Diego Costa failed to get a work permit and when he said it to me, I thought it might be there.

"Another player said to me he is going to sign for a side in the Scottish Prem, so I kind of understood that, and then another player said to me ‘I’ve got a cruciate ligament injury’, and that’s the last thing we need.

"I’ve had another couple of texts today from players I didn’t know would be interested in joining Rovers.”

Rovers have seen considerable changes to their squad in the last 18-months with numerous players coming in and out of the club.

The club were able to recover from their relegation and bounced back at the first opportunity, though a chunk of last season’s success have returned to their parent teams.

Stars like Antony Evans and Aaron Collins though have been given new long-term contracts, whilst the much sought-after Luke McCormick also signed a three-year deal after joining from AFC Wimbledon.

There is a need however to keep competition in what is a mainly settled squad with depth in a number of areas, though defence is a position in which they have two long-term absentees.

Resources remain available to Barton’s disposal after the club’s board signed off three transfers that involved transfer fees and it remains an avenue he is willing to explore, though he is content with what he has to work with.

"We’re always trying to upskill the group. I’m happy with what I’ve got,” Barton added.

“If I can nudge it a little bit, as a manager you’re always looking for a little bit more and wanting a little bit more. I’d be delighted if I had a little bit more."