Blackburn want Cantwell on loan - reports

File photo dated 28-08-2021 of Norwich City's Todd Cantwell during the Premier League match at Carro

Blackburn Rovers are reportedly interested in signing Norwich City's Todd Cantwell on loan. - Credit: PA

Blackburn Rovers are interested in signing Norwich City midfielder Todd Cantwell on loan, according to reports.

The Sun's transfer expert Alan Nixon has claimed that Rovers' new head coach Jon Dahl Tomasson has targeted the City number 14, but a more relevant factor may be that the Lancashire club's new director of football Gregg Broughton was a key part of the Canaries' academy as Cantwell was coming through the ranks.

A stumbling block for any temporary move would be the former England under-21 international's contractual status. Norwich took up an option to extend his contract by a year this summer, meaning he only has one season left at Carrow Road.

This means that any departure without a fee would mean City forfeiting the chance to raise funds by selling Cantwell, an unlikely decision given the need for sales to raise funds after relegation.

It also appears unlikely that Blackburn could make any significant financial contribution to the deal, with the report suggesting that their transfer budget could be as little as £3million.

Cantwell spent the second half of last season on loan at Bournemouth, where he played 12 games and failed to make a single goal contribution. The South Coast club had an option to make the deal permanent for around £11million but chose not to.

That came after a mysterious situation that saw the 24-year-old fall out of favour in NR1, and he even trained with the club's under-23 squad before former head coach Daniel Farke departed.

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Dean Smith attempted to reintegrate Cantwell when he replaced the German, but there were few signs of improvement and the decision was made to cut ties, at least temporarily, last winter.

At present the Dereham native is expected to return to City's Colney training base when he finishes his holiday, with Smith keen to assess players who were previously out on loan.

"We were all hoping that Todd could recapture the form that we've all seen in the previous Premier League campaign," the City boss admitted after Cantwell's move to the Cherries was confirmed.

"I started him in my very first game, but unfortunately he just didn't recapture that form. He felt it was the right time to go and get some games elsewhere. He wasn't in the squad at the time, whether that's because of his form or a lack of confidence, I don't know."