Rotherham United boss set to turn attention to retained list with League One promotion sealed

Rotherham United boss Paul Warne is set to return to work as he turns his attention to next season.
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Warne afforded himself a few days off after Saturday’s memorable promotion win at Gillingham.

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The Millers capped a fine season, where they also won the Football League Trophy, by securing a second-placed finish in League One thanks to a 2-0 win.

Paul Warne, manager of Rotherham United (photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images).Paul Warne, manager of Rotherham United (photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images).
Paul Warne, manager of Rotherham United (photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images).
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Celebrations involving the players and the staff went on into the early hours of Sunday morning after the group partied with fans in Wickersley.

Warne, possibly nursing a sore head, has enjoyed some time away from the club, but will return to plot another shot at the Championship.

Among the key tasks the boss will attend to will be dealing with the retained list, with several out-of-contract players due to be released, while also working to convince star stirker Michael Smith to sign a new deal.

Smith, whose deal runs out this summer, has not ruled out the possibility of staying at the AESSEAL New York Stadium and the Millers’ hand has been significantly strengthened by returning to the Championship.

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It appears inevitable he will have contact from established clubs in the second tier, but Warne will try and work his magic and tempt him to commit his future to the Millers.

The likes of Chiedozie Ogbene and Ben Wiles - undoubtedly saleable assets - are still under contract, but Warne will also hope they can be tempted into signing new long-term deals.

Warne will also discuss Freddie Ladapo’s future. The club’s record signing is out of contract in the summer, though the Millers do have an option to extend.

However, Ladapo’s future looks set to be away from the club after Warne left him out of the final three games of the season - where the Millers took seven points to seal their destiny.

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Ladapo filed a transfer request in January but there were no takers and the Millers must now decide whether to cut their losses and allow him to leave for free or trigger the option in the hope they can find a buyer and recoup some of the money they paid for him.

Warne will also work on a recruitment plan to try and find the quality of player that will help them end a cycle of promotion and relegations between the second and third tiers that has gone on since the 2016-2017 campaign.