One in, one out at Doncaster Rovers?

George Friend is in talks with Middlesbrough.

George Friend is in talks with Middlesbrough.

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DEAN Saunders wants to add at least four new faces to his squad before the start of the season - and is hoping to make progress on one new signing before Tuesday night’s trip to Rotherham.

Saunders spoke to a defender - available on a free transfer - on Saturday morning and is likely to discover today whether the outcome of those talks was successful.

Rovers’ boss is anxious to bolster his defensive ranks after giving George Friend permission to discuss personal terms with Middlesbrough.

James O’Connor, Tommy Spurr and youngster Liam Wakefield have been forced to play the majority of Rovers’ opening three pre-season games, while midfielder Jake McCormick has been used as a makeshift right back.

Saunders has not given up hope of landing Stevenage defensive pair Jon Ashton and Mark Roberts - and is thought to be waiting on an answer from Borough on an improved bid for the pair.

Shelton Martis, meanwhile, is expected to miss training for a couple of weeks after his injury curse struck again.

Saunders wants to add three defenders and a striker to his squad before the season kicks off for real on August 11 against York City in the Capital One Cup.

Saunders said: “We need to sign four or five players. There’s three weeks to go and I’ve got some irons in the fire.

“I met a player on Saturday morning and hopefully we’ll make some progress with that one in the near future.

“I’ve got a couple of offers for players in which I’m waiting to hear back on.

“I knew it was going to be a difficult summer and it has been exactly that.

“We’ve accepted an offer for George Friend but I’m hoping to keep the rest of the squad here and build on it.”

Saunders is likely to hand former Carlisle and Notts County forward Karl Hawley another chance to impress in Tuesday night’s friendly with Rotherham at the New York Stadium.