Rotherham United: Millers in Ajayi talks

Rotherham United are in talks with Semi Ajayi aimed at keeping the loan centre-half at New York Stadium next season.

Monday, 6th March 2017, 2:51 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:10 am
Semi Ajayi

The 23-year-old has been a big hit since arriving from Cardiff City in the January transfer window and the Millers, who are at home to Championship pace-setters Brighton tomorrow, hope a permanent deal can be struck.

“We are speaking to his people to see what the script is,” caretaker manager Paul Warne told The Star.

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Bottom club Rotherham, 18 points adrift of safety, have been ravaged by injuries and right-back Stephen Kelly is the latest absentee after damaging his calf in last Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at the hands of Aston Villa.

He is definitely out of the Seagulls clash and Warne described striker Danny Ward, who came off against Villa after complaining of dizziness and impaired vision when he took a bang between the shoulder blades, as “a massive doubt”.

Also missing are goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell (damaged finger), central defenders Richard Wood (groin) and Joel Ekstrand (knee injury that requires surgery) and centre-forward Dexter Blackstock (knee).

The Millers’ numbers should be boosted this week by loan striker Carlton Morris, signed in January from Norwich City and finally due in South Yorkshire after recovering from a hamstring pull.

Carlton Morris

“I spoke to him yesterday,” said Warne, who revealed he would like Swansea City loan winger Alex Bray to stay with Rotherham next year. “He is now running at nine metres per second, so I will be pleased to get him on board.

“The Norwich physio wants him to do two sessions with them before he joins up. I am hopeful he will be up on Thursday to be included in my plans for Wolves on Saturday.

“Originally, he was going to be here for the second week of February but then he had a recurrence of his injury.

“Obviously, Norwich don’t want to rush him back because if it goes again that’s his season done. I understand they are uber cautious, I respect that, but I am looking forward to him coming up.

Will Vaulks

“We are not paying him until he comes up so, if Norwich want him to stay there for another week, they hold all the cards.”

Midfielder Will Vaulks is likely to feature at right-back again tomorrow after deputising for Kelly in the Villa match and seeing his tackles lead to the early exits of Birkir Bjarnason and Jack Grealish

“He was impressive. He was aggressive,” Warne said. “He saw two wingers off, which always goes down well with the fans. It might be his best position. I like his attitude.”

Vaulks considered going out on loan in Janary when he wasn’t a regular starter but has since regained his place.

“I’m never going to have a problem with a player who knocks on my door and says that because playing is what they’re paid to do,” Warne said. “He is a really good lad. He just wants to play.”

Peterborough are paying the wages of Dominic Ball until the end of the season after sending the young Millers defender back from his London Road loan spell.

Carlton Morris
Will Vaulks