WANDERERS have checked on the availability of Blackpool defender Ryan Edwards.

The 6ft 5ins centre back found himself out of favour in the second half of last season at Bloomfield Road and could be allowed to move on.

Ian Evatt is looking to strengthen his defensive options but – not for the first time this summer – will face competition from League Two rivals, Salford City, who are also believed to be keen on the Liverpool-born 26-year-old.

Blackpool recently added Leyton Orient’s Marvin Ekpiteta to their squad but may need more cover before they allow Edwards a route out of the club.

Wanderers have also been strongly linked with ex-Northampton Town centre-back Jordan Turnbull, who was released by the Cobblers after helping them to promotion in the play-offs.

Turnbull played 38 times last season and scored five goals but could not agree a new contract with Keith Curle’s side.

After the signings of Eoin Doyle and Antoni Sarcevic, Wanderers will be welcoming a squad of 14 professional players back for pre-season training early next week.

Due to health and safety measures, training groups will be limited to just five players during phase one of the process, which was initially used in Project Restart for the Premier League and Championship during May and June.

“We have got to develop a special protocol in terms of having them in small groups, keeping them isolated, giving them their own personal space where they come in, get changed in their own area, not shower or get food, so it’s going to be completely different but it’s something we need to get used to now, something we need to buy into,” Evatt explained.

“We’re classing it as an eight-week pre-season, with September 12 being the potential restart date, it will give us the best possible scenario to hit the ground running.

“We’re a new group, a new coaching staff, it’s a new philosophy, new style, we need to get people implemented with that as soon as possible.”

It is just over 18 weeks since Wanderers last kicked a ball in League One, at which point Evatt and his Barrow team were leading the way in the National League.

Much has changed since then but the head coach is relishing the prospect of returning towards normality with his new club.

“I can’t describe how long it has felt,” he said. “And it was almost as if someone turned the taps off. Life was normal and all of a sudden someone switched that tap off.

“It was completely different. I have been in a footballing for 21 years and you take it for granted. When it is taken away from you it’s difficult. But I am so excited by this, we’ve got so much to do and so much to look forward to.”

Evatt is also looking forward to meeting some of the squad for the first time and underlining what he will expect of them in the coming months.

“That’s what Monday is about, setting that culture and environment,” he told the club. “Without speaking ill of the past regimes, we’ve kind of taken this place and the training facility for granted. We need to get back to respecting what we have got here.”