Rotherham will make a New Year bid to take loan hitman Kieffer Moore on a permanent deal.
Manager Paul Warne confirmed the Millers will try to buy the 13-goal striker who is set to be recalled by parent club Ipswich Town at the beginning of January.
Moore’s scoring exploits since his summer switch to South Yorkshire have made the 25-year-old a wanted man and Rotherham aren’t prepared to lose him to another club without a fight.
“Yes, we will be bidding,” Warne said. “That’s definite. I’ve had the conversation with the chairman.”
“It’s crazy to think I wouldn’t want him. He’s been the highest scorer in England. He’s a great kid. He’s still at a good age. I think he will still improve.”
The Millers, who are at home to MK Dons in League One on Saturday, expect most of their business in the January transfer window to be loans, but are ready to make an exception for the 6ft 5in frontman who serves the final match of a three-game ban this weekend.
“We’ve missed him in the last couple of games,” Warne said. “Because we’ve picked up points (win over Blackpool, draw with Plymouth Argyle), everybody thinks: ‘Hey, there’s life after Kieffer.’ I don’t look at it like that.
“I think we would have been better if he had played. I will do everything I can to try to keep him. But if the figures go out of our remit, that’s the way football is.”
Ipswich want to assess Moore in training before they decide whether to cash in on him or give him a chance in their Championship squad and Warne believes they will activate their recall clause on January 1.
But the boss hasn’t ruled out the possibility of the Tractor Boys agreeing to extend the player’s loan at AESSEAL New York Stadium until the end of the season.
“I can see him coming back one of two ways,” he said. “One, we bid the most, obviously. Two, they choose not to sell him in that the value of the bids for him do not match their expectations.
“If Ipswich get offered something nominal, then they will be in no rush to sell. If it was me and an offer didn’t come in that I wanted, then I would say: ‘Go back and add to your reputation and we’ll look at you in the summer.’
“But I also know that how clubs start January might not be how they end it. Clubs can panic and end up spending more than they were going to originally.
“I think, potentially, we could keep him. The positive part of my brain thinks it will happen. The pessimist in me thinks maybe not so. I’m hopeful, but I wouldn’t put my life on it.”
Tenth-placed Rotherham will again be without injured duo winger Jon Taylor and Darren Potter for the Dons clash.
The match is a ‘Friends for a Fiver’ fixture.
Season-ticket-holders can buy an extra ticket for £5 and can move seats to sit with their companion.