Bristol Rovers: Orient keen to lure defender Sawyer away from the Pirates
Leyton Orient are poised to make a summer move for experienced Bristol Rovers' defender Gary Sawyer.
The versatile 26-year-old is out of contract at the Memorial Stadium and is expected to be offered a new deal to remain with the Pirates.
But they are likely to face competition from the east London club, who survived a relegation battle to remain in League One for next term.
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Brisbane Road boss Russell Slade is known to have been keeping tabs on Sawyer, who joined Rovers in the summer of 2010 and has made 61 league outings for the club.
He made 27 appearances in all competitions last season, despite missing the start of the campaign after having surgery to cure a hernia last summer – and then spending another spell on the sidelines during February and March with a hamstring injury.
Sawyer, who had previous spells with Plymouth and Exeter, as well as a loan spell at Bristol City, can play either at left-back – where he has made the majority of his appearances for the Pirates – or in central defence.
Meanwhile, central defender Byron Anthony is still unclear about his future – although he accepts he is unlikely to be offered a new deal with Rovers.
Anthony, aged 27, has spent almost six years on the Pirates' books, but joined Hereford on loan for the second half of the season.
The Welshman, who joined Rovers from Cardiff in July 2006, chalked up 163 league appearances for Rovers, scoring seven goals – and was part of the side that won promotion to League One in the Wembley play-off final in 2007.
"I haven't heard anything from the club yet, although it seems obvious I'm not going to be offered anything," said Anthony. "But it would be nice to be told that after six years of loyal service."
Hereford suffered relegation to the Blue Square Bet Premier on the final day of the campaign, but Anthony has his sights set on remaining in the Football League.
"I played 35 games last season, although it was an up-and-down one for me with managerial changes during my time at Rovers and with Hereford, but I don't want to drop out of the league if I can help it.
"I played four years in League One during my time at Rovers as well as a couple in League Two.
"My agent is talking to a couple of clubs at the moment and we'll see what happens."