Rotherham United boss Paul Warne provides an update on Michael Smith’s future

Rotherham United boss Paul Warne is keen for a quick resolution on Michael Smith’s future – but does not think it will happen.

By Jonathan Veal
Sunday, 8th May 2022, 5:20 pm

The Millers’ star striker, who scored 25 goals in all competitions last season, is out of contract and has yet to agree a new one.

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Rotherham are prepared to push the boat out in order to keep him at the AESSEAL New York Stadium, but are likely to face competition from other clubs, who are likely to be able to offer more money.

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Rotherham United's Michael Smith (left) poses for a photo with a fan after the final whistle of the Sky Bet League One match at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham. Picture date: Saturday April 30, 2022. PA Photo.

Smith had an informal meeting with Warne and chairman Tony Stewart last week before jetting out to Las Vegas to celebrate with the rest of the club’s promotion heroes.

Asked by The Star whether a decision is imminent, Warne said: “My Rotherham United answer is I'd like to get it sorted in the next couple of days one way or another.

“My experience is that it won't be done for weeks.

“I would be amazed if his agent hasn't made an odd phone call, I would have thought his agent knows roughly what is out there.

“I would have also thought most managers and recruiters will have said he's on their list but when it comes to the crunch how many people are actually going to offer a deal.

“It won't go on for weeks and weeks, we won't come back on July 1 and still be waiting for Smudge to make a decision.

“I wouldn't expect him to do that to us and if I know in the next few weeks whether it is an absolute no-go then my job is to try and get someone else in.

“But if there is an opportunity then we will keep negotiating until we know there is no chance.”

Aged 30, Smith knows he probably has one last chance to earn a massive contract that could change his life.

But he has found a home in South Yorkshire after a nomadic start to his career.

“He is fundamental to our success, in the four and a half years I have had him he has been available for virtually every single game,” Warne added.

“There is no value you can put on that, as a manager he is perfect. He is a good leader in the gym, a good leader on the training pitch and he has been fundamental to our success

“I would love to keep him, I would do everything I can to keep him. But if he gets offered something we can't get near then regretfully I would shake his hand and smell him one more time and let him go on his way.

“He could not have done any more for us. He is that essential to our success and we will do everything to keep him but we can't do what we can't do and that's as simple as that.”