Rotherham United: Boost for MIllers as defender Michael Ihiekwe finally signs new contract
He kept them waiting longer than they wanted to, but Rotherham defender Michael Ihiekwe has finally signed a new contract.
Negotiations had been going on for much of the last two months, but the deal looked in danger after the Millers were ready to shelve talks after the centre-back's agent asked for more time to ponder the offer.
Boss Paul Warne was always confident Ihiekwe would agree to say and he was proved right as the 26-year-old has signed a contract until the summer of 2022.
He follows fellow defender Joe Mattock in agreeing a new contract, with both men originally set to be free agents at the end of the summer.
Boss Warne said: “I have been keen to get Icky's new contract nailed down as early as possible.
"It's a credit to the club that we've managed to persuade him to stay. I'd like to thank my chairman for supporting me on it.
"The players hold all the cards. We want the players more than they want us really because there are other clubs that would take them. I'm really pleased."
“It's really good news for us. He's been virtually faultless this season. He's an unbelievable athlete.
"He's now got a son, which changes people. He's a lot more responsible. I think he is a future captain of this team."
Ihiekwe, who spent time out on loan last season, has become a key player for the Millers' this season, and having had a taste of Championship action last year, he is keen for more.
"I'm delighted it's all been sorted. I've said all along that I wanted to stay,” he said.
"I love it here. The staff and the group are brilliant and I feel I am improving as a player. I hope that I can help the club return to the Championship."
Ihiekwe will be part of the Millers team that head to top-of-the-table Ipswich tonight.
Kyle Vassell will not feature as he is still struggling with a calf injury, while Clark Robertson will also miss out as he rests his groin problem.
Freddie Ladapo is fit again after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury.