Rotherham United: Millers ready to spend as offer goes in for midfielder

Rotherham United have made a bid for a new midfielder as they prepare for life without captain Lee Frecklington.

Friday, 12th January 2018, 2:55 pm
Updated Friday, 12th January 2018, 2:55 pm
Lee Frecklington

Manager Paul Warne has been granted funds by chairman Tony Stewart to spend in the January transfer window and a midfield man is now his top target following yesterday’s departure of Frecklington to home-town club Lincoln City.

Warne, who takes his seventh-placed League One side to Oldham Athletic tomorrow, will bring in two central midfielders before the end of the month if he can.

Paul Warne

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“We’ve put a bid in for a player. We’ll put bids in for other players if needs be,” he said.

“We’re trying to recruit in this window a long-term midfielder. If it isn’t this window but in the summer, that’s what it is. But we’re trying to recruit now.”

The boss has already made his first January signing, with 6ft 4in targetman Michael Smith arriving from Bury and going straight into the squad for the Latics clash.

Lincoln have paid a six-figure fee to land 32-year-old Frecklington, a Millers legend after five years and two promotions at AESSEAL New York Stadium, whose contract was due to expire at the end of the season

Rotherham are now low on numbers in central midfield because Darren Potter is out until late February at the earliest with an achilles injury.

“We need to reinvest the money to replace Frecks,” Warne said. “We desperately need to bring in one midfielder; in my opinion, two.

“I’m going to try to sign a central midfielder who’s going to be here for three or four years. The chairman has kindly allowed me to have the money. That’s good. If I need to get in a loan to make it four centre mids, I will.”

Sky Bet Manager of the Month Warne backed his men - on an unbeaten six-match run of four wins and two draws and only one point off a play-off spot - to handle the exit of their skipper.

New boy Michael Smith

“We have loads of really good characters at the club,” he said. “It’s felt like a different club since we came back for pre-season. It’s been really fresh. We’ve improved the training ground. We’ve signed loads of young players.

“Frecks had a massive impact on this team, but we move on. It can’t go on forever.

“I didn’t have Frecks on the pitch against Blackburn (1-1 draw on New Year’s day) and I don’t think the team crumbled in any kind of way.

“Will Vaulks and Richie Towell have really cemented their places in the team. That’s the future of the club really. I just need to get some people in to help them.”

Paul Warne

The Millers have sold more than 1,000 tickets for tomorrow’s match after taking a second allocation from Oldham and that figure will rise as fans can pay on the day.

New boy Michael Smith