Ferguson: Doncaster Rovers to pursue permanent deal for Everton midfielder Conor Grant

Conor Grant
Conor Grant

Darren Ferguson insists Doncaster Rovers will be competitive in their pursuit of the permanent signing of Conor Grant this summer.

Ferguson revealed Rovers had a bid accepted by Everton last month which would have seen the popular midfielder move to the Keepmoat on a full transfer.

But Grant himself requested his return to Rovers would be a loan as he looks to keep his options open for his future beyond the end of the season.

Ferguson says regardless of what happens over the next few months, he has the backing of the Rovers board to aggressively pursue a permanent deal for Grant.

“Conor just wanted to come and play and enjoy his football,” Ferguson told the Free Press.

“The hope is, he does that, we’re all successful together and then certainly I’d be looking at doing a permanent in the summer if we can.

“As a club we had a bid accepted by Everton to sign him permanently. That shows where we want to go as a football club.

“But the boy decided he wanted to come on loan.

“When I met him and his dad, he obviously had reservations about coming to League Two.

“He feels he’s got a point to prove and he should be playing at a higher level.

“We managed to convince him as a club we want to be at a higher level.

“If he comes in and helps us be successful and someone offers him a fortune, he’s done his job.

“But we will be competitive in that sense. If we get to where we want to, then we’ll try to keep him.”

Grant impressed greatly during his loan spell with Rovers last season which was cut short through injury.

Ferguson said in the summer he thought Grant was out of reach and he joined Championship side Ipswich Town on loan.

But with game time limited, the loan was cancelled in November and Ferguson set to work.

“As soon as that happened, we put in that call,” he said.

“You think, it ain’t going to happen.

“But then as time went on it got more and more positive.

“It obviously helped that we’re doing well in the league.

“I just think he’s such a good lad. He’s had a bad experience at Ipswich and sometimes when that happens you just want to go somewhere where you can trust the manager and players, you know you’re going to play more of the time if you’re on form and you know you enjoy the way the team tries to play.

“Tommy Rowe was the same with us after Wolves.

“Conor is thinking I just want four months of playing football and take it from there.”