Rotherham boss Paul Warne won’t rush Republic of Ireland star Chiedozie Ogbene into new deal

Rotherham boss Paul Warne is in no rush to sit down and discuss a new contract with Chiedozie Ogbene.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 4:42 pm

The winger’s deal runs out in the summer, but the club have a year’s option which will be activated, buying them more time.

To negotiate a new deal could prove tricky given Ogbene’s rise to stardom, emerging as the Republic of Ireland’s new star.

The 24-year-old, the first African-born player to represent the country, has scored two goals in five appearances and is sure to attract attention from club’s at a higher level.

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Rotherham's Republic of Ireland midfielder Chiedozie Ogbene (L) vies with Portugal's defender Pepe (C) during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifying round Group A football match between Ireland and Portugal at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on November 11, 2021. (Photo by PAUL FAITH / AFP) (Photo by PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images)

But Warne said: “We've got an option on Chieo. I don't need to activate it yet.

“I'd rather sit down with Chieo when the time is right and try to get him on an extended deal.

“However, I have to be realistic. Luckily, there isn't an international break now until March.

“The more games he plays against Europe's greatest - he's playing against Portugal, he's not playing, with all due respect, against San Marino - the more awareness other people will have of him and the more difficult it will be for us to keep him.

“I'm not naive enough to sit here thinking we can offer him a deal that will absolutely water his eyes and no one else can compete with that.

“However, we will still have the conversations with him and try to sell him the dream. I am aware there will be other people interested.”

With the Millers still having him under contract for 18 months, Warne says he will not be sold in January.

“I cannot see us selling anyone in January unless the money is ridiculous,” he said.

“The chairman has never said I have to sell anyone. If we get another six months out of Chieo or another 18 months, great.

“Would I like to sign Chieo on a five-year deal? Of course I would. Realistically, if he keeps taking on teams like Portugal it makes that more difficult.

“The option is in the club's favour.”

Ogbene will return to the Millers squad for their game with Cambridge on Saturday.

Michael Smith is suspended, but Jamie Lindsay (hamstring) and Joe Mattock (ankle) are fit again.