Kean closing in on signings
Rovers have endured a frustrating time in the transfer market, with only striker David Goodwillie and midfielder Radosav Petrovic arriving, from Dundee United and Partizan Belgrade, respectively. This week they missed out on one of the biggest names in European football when former Real Madrid striker Raul decided to reject an offer and stay with Schalke in the Bundesliga. Kean has received more positive news from three other players, though, and an unnamed midfielder and defender will have medicals with the Lancashire outfit over the next two days while a striker is also close to signing. Kean said of the Raul offer: "We said we'd be interested if he was available. We were waiting on something to come back from Schalke and then it got into the press that it had moved forward but we got a fax from Schalke on official headed notepaper to say he wasn't available at any price. "That was the extent of it. We were excited about it, we had funds available to try to go after him but it never materialised, so that was disappointing. "But that's one player. Last week we had active bids out there and that's progressed. There are bids that have been accepted. We're at a point of having medicals today and tomorrow so that's positive, because it's been slow. "The lads are going to come here, we've agreed terms with a couple of players so we're hopeful next week we'll have another couple of faces to add to David Goodwillie and Radosav. "The good thing is we've followed through with things. It's been slow but we've stuck with it and it's coming together." Reinforcements cannot come quickly enough for Rovers, who battled against relegation last season and have seen 11 players leave the club over the summer, including highly-rated defender Phil Jones, who joined Manchester United. Injuries to established centre-back pairing Ryan Nelsen and Christopher Samba meant Kean was forced to go with teenager Grant Hanley and midfielder Steven Nzonzi in defence for their opening league match last weekend, a home defeat by Wolves. However, Kean is optimistic Nelsen and Samba will both be fit to face Villa while imposing midfielder Petrovic is also in line to make his debut. "To get Ryan Nelsen and Chris Samba back on the training ground, being such imposing figures and when you see how well they did last year, is fantastic," he said. "I thought last week Steven Nzonzi adapted very well considering he'd only played there as a 12-year-old boy, I thought he showed good composure and confidence to go back there, but we missed him then in the middle of the pitch. "But if we get the centre-backs back, Steven can move back into the middle and all of a sudden it's a different outlook."