Rotherham boss Paul Warne insists top-scorer Michael Smith is not for sale

Rotherham boss Paul Warne said only the offer of “lunacy” money would see the club sell Michael Smith in the January transfer window.

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 1:57 pm

Smith, who has scored 13 goals in 20 appearances this season, is out of contract in the summer and has yet to agree to new terms, though he has not ruled it out.

The striker is likely to have turned some heads and could attract interest in January as clubs try and strengthen their squads.

With the prospect of losing Smith on a free transfer in the summer, there could be a temptation to get some cash for him in January, but Warne insists that is not going to be the case.

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Michael Smith has scored 13 goals in 20 appearances for Rotherham this season.

“Not for me, not from a manager's point of view, I would keep him until the summer, 100 per cent,” he said.

“I don't think there is any appetite from the owner to cash in, he wants promotion and you wouldn't sell your best players if that's what you want.

“I am not saying this as a warning, but I have no intention to sell.

“If someone phoned up and said, 'I've got X million for Smudge', I'd say, 'Great but we could earn this from going up and your bid is not enough’.

“I can't see anyone leaving unless it is lunacy money in this window because I can't spend it.

“If you give me £2million for Smudge, thanks what am I going to do with it? I have got to try and get a player under our wage structure who is as good as Smudge, I've got no chance.

“I don't see January being a problem, I don't think there are loads of clubs in the Championship who are raining cash either.

“Most clubs in the Championship are not that flush that this window is going to be that exciting.

“I don't forsee any problems, but if there is I will speak to the owner and it will come down to that but I don't think that is going to happen.”

Smith’s goals have helped fire the Millers to the top of League One and Warne reckons that another promotion will help the best sales pitch to their star man.

“I would prefer to keep Smudge in my office most days and keep giving him my favourite coffee and then he will have a bad day where he comes in and says, 'Gaffer I have brought my own pen and I'll sign it',” Warne joked.

“If we get through January, I don't think we will lose anyone, I honestly don't think we will sell anyone.

“If I get to April time and we look like we have a real chance of going up I probably have more chance of getting Smudge to stay.

“That is my best sales pitch, he could have the security now but I assume his agent wants to see how they go.”