KYLE Bennett would have to take a significant pay cut of around 75 per cent if he were to join Swindon Town on permanent terms this January, manager Richie Wellens has said.

Bennett – who is believed to be on around £4,500 per week at the Memorial Stadium – joined Swindon on loan last January and played a starring role under Wellens, scoring four goals and making two assists in 15 appearances.

Following his excellent spell at the back end of the 2018-19 season, Town attempted to make a move for the 29-year-old over the summer - but a deal never materialised.

However, Adver sources understand Bristol Rovers are desperate to remove Bennett's high wage bill from their outgoings. And Swindon is the most likely destination for Bennett should he depart.

But, when asked by the Adver whether a move for the Telford-born winger was likely to happen this month, Wellens rubbished the claim and said he is currently unable to offer Bennett the kind of wage he deserves.

Wellens said: “He won’t take the kind of pay cut he would need to take to come here.

“The money that we’re talking here – we could probably pay 20 or 25 per cent of what he’s on, as a rough guess.

“So therefore he’s not going to take that significant cut regarding his pay.

“If we’re asking him to take a 20 or 30 per cent pay cut with another year, that’s something we could maybe do.

“But we are in no position to get anywhere near what he’s on at Bristol Rovers.”

Though Wellens initially said Town would stand no chance of luring Bennett back to the club on permanent terms, the Swindon chief did not rule out bringing the winger back on loan.

It is yet to be seen whether Rovers would entertain such an idea.

But with the Gas keen to significantly thin down their wage bill, Wellens appeared hopeful that a deal could still be done.

Though the Town boss admitted any potential move would have to be carefully considered as the club is not currently in a position to throw money at potential incomings.

Wellens added: “Bristol Rovers have changed their manager and we’ve heard through the grapevine that they need to get players out because financially they’re not in a great position.

“They’ve brought two wingers in this week, so that might change Kyle’s position.

“But we have to realise our own financial state is quite tight. If we can do something, we will.

“We were quite vocal in the summer about trying to get him, but Kyle’s wage is a very, very good League One wage, never mind a League Two wage.

"It will all come down to finances.”