Doncaster Rovers could miss out on targets claims boss Dean Saunders

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DONCASTER Rovers’ boss Dean Saunders says he could miss out on some of his summer targets were the current situation at the club to drag on during the close season.

The Welshman says he needs to sign at least nine players in the next couple of months and has identified a number of players he feels would boost his squad for an assault on next season’s League One promotion race.

“As I’ve said before, I can’t sign players until some contracted players move out because my first priority is to reduce my budget,” he said.

“The problem with that state of affairs is that I could lose out on some of the players at other clubs who I’ve identified as players who could do us a good job next season.”

Saunders also fears that other clubs could swoop on the out-of-contract Rovers’ players that he is keen to retain.

Saunders is playing his cards close to his chest when it comes to the players he would like to offer new deals, but the list is known to include the likes of midfielders Simon Gillett and Paul Keegan.

“Whereas Gillett featured in every game last season, starting in all but a couple, former Bohemians’ star Keegan managed just three appearances due to a series of leg injuries.

But Saunders, who is looking to add more aggression to his side next season, liked what he saw of the Irishman and feels that he would fit into his plans.

“The manager says he’d like to have me on board for next season and if the offer is right I’d be happy to stay and try to get the club back into the Championship,” said Keegan.

“Even though I barely played last season the manager says he was happy with me and he wants me there next season so hopefully we can sort that out.”

Keegan made two appear-ances at the start of the campaign for Rovers but a knee problem sidelined him until March.

He started in the 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in late March, but suffered another injury and sat out the final games of what he describes as a ‘nightmare season.’

A number of League of Ireland sides are reputed to be keeping an eye on developments, but 27 year-old Keegan, who won medals with Drogheda and Bohs, is keen to stay in England.