BLACKBURN ROVERS will return with an improved offer for Middlesbrough goalkeeper Aynsley Pears this week after their initial £200,000 bid was turned down.

Rovers boss Tony Mowbray is keen to sign Pears as he looks to overhaul his goalkeeping department at Ewood Park, and his club’s hierarchy have held discussions with their counterparts on Teesside over the 22-year-old.

An initial offer of around £200,000 was lodged at the end of last week, but Boro chief executive Neil Bausor rejected it as it does match Boro’s valuation of the shot-stopper.

The Teessiders accept Pears’ contract situation will have to be taken into account during any discussions over his future – the youngster has entered the final year of his current deal and could therefore leave as a free agent next summer – but there is a determination not to lose the academy product for too low a fee.

Blackburn are expected to return with an increased offer in the next few days, although the Rovers board are understood to be reluctant to go as high as £400,000 so further negotiations could be required.

Neil Warnock is willing to allow Pears to leave after signing Marcus Bettinelli, who made his debut in Friday’s 1-0 defeat at Watford, earlier this summer. Tomas Mejias has joined Romanian side Dinamo Bucharest on a season-long loan, but even if Pears also departs, Boro will still be able to call on Dejan Stojanovic as back-up for Bettinelli.

“They’ve (Stojanovic and Pears) got to fight for their place, haven’t they,” said Warnock, in the wake of his side’s defeat at Vicarage Road on Friday night. “Marcus is an excellent keeper. The gloves are in his hands at the moment, and it’s hard to see him being displaced.”

Pears, who is the son of former Boro goalkeeper Stephen, has spent his entire career on Boro’s books, but having had a taste of first-team action under Jonathan Woodgate last season, he will be understandably keen to increase his chances of challenging for more senior game time this term.

Blackburn could offer him that, with Mowbray having been forced to name the untried Andrew Fisher as his substitute goalkeeper for his side’s opening-weekend defeat at Bournemouth on Saturday.

Pears was on the bench for Boro on Friday, but he would not have been involved in the matchday squad had Stojanovic not suffered an illness that forced him to drop out of the 18.

Provided the Macedonian has recovered sufficiently, he is set to start tomorrow’s Carabao Cup second-round game against Barnsley.

Boro return to action at the Riverside with Warnock set to heavily rotate his squad as he guards against over-exerting his players in the early weeks of the season.

Dael Fry, Nathan Wood, Hayden Coulson, Lewis Wing and Marcus Browne are all expected to be involved tomorrow, while Sam Morsy could also make his Middlesbrough debut after signing from Wigan Athletic at the end of last week.

“It’s an opportunity for some of the lads to get a game,” said Warnock. “We’re not going to win the Carabao Cup this season and we’ve got so many games coming up, so as many as I can, I will look to give the other lads an opportunity.”

Meanwhile, Boro’s Under-18s kicked off their U18 Premier League North season with a 3-0 win over Leeds United at the weekend, with Calum Kavanagh scoring twice and Josh Coburn also finding the target.