Rotherham United: Key Millers pair look like staying at New York Stadium

Rotherham look set to keep hold of Semi Ajayi and Michael Smith for next season after Paul Warne revealed there has been no significant interest in the pair.

Friday, 5th July 2019, 1:02 pm
Updated Friday, 5th July 2019, 2:03 pm
Semi Ajayi

Both players excelled for the Millers in the Championship last season and were expected to be in demand this summer.

While Barnsley are understood to have registered their interest in Ajayi, they have not made a serious move.

“No one has come in with anything of great significance so far," Warne said. "It would have to be a substantial bid for either to go. Neither have said they want to go.

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Sheffield Wednesday v Rotherham United Skybet Championship Rotherham's Michael Smith celebrates after scoring

"If there are substantial bids and we accept them, we do have replacements in line. “If Smithy starts the season playing as well as he did last year and also scores a few goals, it could be that a bid comes in for him in January."

The Millers have already sold Will Vaulks this summer, for a club-record fee that could rise to £3.5million, and Warne was also braced to lose Ajayi following his impressive campaign last season.

He finished as joint top scorer as he flitted between defence and midfield and earned international recognition with Nigeria.

The Millers could have had a stiffer task in keeping him had he not been dropped from the final squad of the Super Eagles' Africa Cup of Nations campaign.

Understandably Warne is keen to keep his star player.

"Semi is essential to us. If I lose Semi, I lose a centre-half, a midfielder, a right-back, someone could can play in a back three,” he added. “I'm trying to sign players who can play in more than one position.

"I know I'm blowing our own horn, but here is a good place to be, a good place to play. The lads like being here. They're not pushing down the door to get out.

"However, if an offer comes in that is more than fair and is going to help the player's life, we won't stand in their way."

The Millers begin their pre-season campaign on Saturday with their annual thrashing of Parkgate FC.

Fans will be hoping to see the new recruits in action, with Carlton Morris, Shaun MacDonald, Freddie Ladapo, Dan Barlaser and Julien Lamy all joining the club this summer.