Birthday boy Paul Warne could begin his summer recruitment in the next few days as relegated Rotherham United plan for life in League One next season.
The Millers ended their three-year stay in the Championship yesterday with a 1-1 home draw with Derby County and the manager, who turns 44 today, has already spoken with a number of transfer targets.
“This week I might, hopefully, be getting one over the line,” he said.
“A few are involved in play-offs, so you can’t contact their clubs and say: ‘Do you mind if we take him?’ You have to show a bit of courtesy. But we can agree things in principle with players. It’s then just what the clubs see as their price.
“I wouldn’t put my life on getting some of them. With agents saying the fee is, say, £100,000 and then saying another club has offered £200,000, it’s mayhem. But the majority of those we’re going for, I’m pleased with. And the majority of the team I’ve got here who I want to keep, I’m pleased with as well. I think they will be competitive in League One.”
Warne has held meetings with some of his out-of-contract players to tell them whether they will be offered new terms and will talk to the rest today before the club announce their retained list.
Other members of his squad who have deals for next season could also find they are surplus to requirements, although Warne is revealing nothing publicly until he has spoken to everyone concerned.
“I’m a good way through the process,” he said after the New York Stadium clash with the Rams. “I haven’t told all of them yet. I don’t think it’s fair to say: ‘He’s been offered a deal, he’s been told to leave.’
“I’ve had private conversations with them. I’ve asked them to keep what was said between us. It will all be done by Monday night.”
Meanwhile, the man who took the Millers hot-seat permanently last month joked that his birthday will come and go with the minimum of fuss.
“I’ve got interviews with two potential new physios as Den (Denis Circuit) and Mike (Preston) are leaving, and I’ll go the gym,” he revealed. “That’s about it. What a life!
“It’s pointless having a birthday, when you’re old, during the week. My kids are at school, my missus is at work. I’ll be in on my own watching, I don’t know, This Morning or something. That’s no good on your birthday, is it?
“I went to a game with Jimmy Mullen, who used to be assistant manager here. We were at Coventry watching Coventry Under-23s against Brighton U-23s.
“This is on my kids’ lives ... at quarter to 10 at night, he turns to me and says: ‘Oh my god, it’s my birthday today.’ I said: ‘What? You’ve only just realised?’ He replied: ‘Yeah, I’ve just had a text from my son.’