Rotherham United: Paul Warne looking to tie down more players

Joe Newell
Joe Newell

Rotherham United boss Paul Warne hopes to tie more of his key players down to new contracts.

The Millers handed long-term deals to strike duo Jamie Proctor and Michael Smith last week and Warne is in discussions with a number of other players whose contracts expire in the summer.

The likes of Joe Mattock, Joe Newell, Will Vaulks, Ryan Williams, Jon Taylor and Anthony Forde are all coming to the end of their current deals and the boss wants to keep his favourites at the club.

“There are a few to be honest,” he said. “Some of the lads have got options and stuff like that but I want to get the lads who are fundamental to our success to sign new deals with the chairman's support, there is a limit to where we will go to.

“But if it is going to happen to at least I'll know now so I can prepare for the future.

“There are a few lads, a couple I am speaking to especially, that we are trying to get over the line, it might happen next week, it might happen in three months, it might not happen at all.

“But at least we are trying to do the right thing, trying to keep the group together so at least I know going into January where I stand.

Semi Ajayi is not out of contract until the summer of 2020, but given his form this year, which has resulted in a call-up to Nigeria's squad, Warne also intends to speak to him.

He is not expecting it to be an exactly one-way conversation, though.

“Semi has got two years left on his contract so there is no immediate rush, but obviously I will be speaking to him,” he added.

“But speaking to Semi's agent at the moment will be quite a laugh because Semi is having an amazing season.”

Ajayi's stock rose further when he was involved in Nigeria's squad for their double-header with Libya in the African Nations Cup qualifiers.

The former Arsenal trainee only made a brief substitute appearance in one of the games, which suited Warne down to the ground.

“I was really chuffed, as a manager it was the best international duty you could have.

“Semi was involved in 60 seconds of two games, didn't have a tackle or anything to do, he got his cap, they can never take that off him, and there is no injury issue.

“He trained pretty hard and looked good and if he comes back like he did form the last international break then I have got a hell of a player.”