Rotherham United: Semi Ajayi reports back for training amidst departure rumours

It was business as usual for Semi Ajayi and Rotherham United on Monday amid rumours of a possible sale to Leeds.

Monday, 8th July 2019, 3:28 pm
Updated Monday, 8th July 2019, 4:30 pm
Semi Ajayi

Reports emerged on social media that the Millers defender was having a medical at the Championship club in the wake of Pontus Janssen's protracted sale to Brentford.

However, the Nigeria international trained with his team-mates and then flew out to Germany for a week-long training camp, with no interest from Leeds.

Ajayi has been attracting interest this summer following an impressive campaign last year, with Barnsley making a move that was well short of what the Millers value him at.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

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

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

They might 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 and been able to earn a even bigger profile.

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."

Striker Michael Smith is another player who other sides may be monitoring after his displays in the Championship.

Warne added: “It would have to be a substantial bid for either to go. Neither have said they want to go.

"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."