Rotherham United: No Polish pause as Millers close on signings

Lee Gregory
Lee Gregory
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Chairman Tony Stewart believes Rotherham United are on the brink of landing some of their major summer transfer targets.

The Millers are in Poland, but Stewart says that won’t delay recruitment as his club prepare to spend big in their bid to crack the Championship’s top 10.

Rotherham are believed to have made club-record bids for strikers Lee Gregory and Tom Bradshaw, of Millwall and Walsall respectively, and have also been in talks with Brighton midfielder Jake Forster-Caskey.

“Poland won’t slow us down,” Stewart told The Star. “The wonders of mobile phones mean people talk today wherever they are. It’s quite simple. You’re still having conversations, you’re still doing deals.

“Communication will be intense and hopefully that delivery of these key players who we’ve put a lot of work into will come to fruition probably while we’re in Poland. It’s business as usual.”

It is thought the Millers have offered around £1.2 million for 27-year-old Gregory, who scored 27 goals in 53 appearances for the Londonders last season, and somewhere in the region of £500,000 for Bradshaw, 23, who has hit 20 goals in each of his two seasons with the Saddlers. He trained with Walsall yesterday.

Tony Stewart with new manager Alan Stubbs and No 2 John Doolan

Tony Stewart with new manager Alan Stubbs and No 2 John Doolan

Both figures smash Rotherham’s previous record outlay, the estimated £400,000 they spent on forward Jonson Clarke-Harris two seasons ago.

Manager Alan Stubbs has made only one signing - Walsall winger Anthony Forde - since his June 2 appointment and Stewart has been impressed by the new boss’s attention to detail in assessing potential arrivals.

“We’re taking time, we’re deliberating, and the manager and the technical board, led by Gee Evans as chief scout, are doing tremendous things,” the owner said on Friday. “It’s not just UK talent. It’s European talent. We have now a lot of players we’ve been looking at. I think, in the next probably five to 10 days, the fans of Rotherham will be seeing a big difference.

“We think these are experienced, good players. There’s no doubt that the new manager has gone for talent rather than quantity. We are really pleased with the progress that’s been made.”

Tom Bradshaw

Tom Bradshaw

Forster-Caskey, 22, once a Brighton regular but with little prospect of forcing his way into manager Chris Hughton’s thinking, is considering a three-year deal with the Millers.

Leaving his family and friends in the south, where he has spent all his career, would be a big personal wrench, but Rotherham can offer him ambition and the Championship platform he craves.

Meanwhile, the Millers trialists will have another chance to impress Stubbs, after Saturday’s 7-0 win over Parkgate FC, in the opening match of the Poland trip tonight, against Miedz Legnica.

“We’ve got half a dozen or so foreign players - from Belgium, Germany, France and Eastern Europe - and they’ll be on trial,” Stewart said. “We’ll be trying people while we’re having our friendlies.”

Sessi D'Almeidi

Sessi D'Almeidi

Midfielder Sessi D’Almeidi shone against Parkgate, and there were also outings for midfielders Ryan Taylor and Benedikt Saller, goalkeeper Chris Konopka and right-back Guillaume Francois.

Centre-half Aimen Belaid is with the squad in Opalenica as he completes his rehabilitation after a minor groin operation.

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