And it may be that Rotherham have to make peace with the fact that he could be on the way out, even if it’s not to Hillsborough, with his manager, Paul Warne, admitting recently that both the centre back and his top scorer from last season, Michael Smith, were now ‘less likely’ to stay with the Millers.
Smith is another that has been linked with the Owls as Darren Moore plans for the season ahead – though at this point it remains to be seen where they will end up.
Speaking about both Smith and Ihiekwe, Warne said, “They both have substantial offers from other clubs… I am still in contact with both players, we are still trying and keeping the lines of communication open but it does look less likely. I don't want to lose any of the players, especially the ones who have contributed a great amount and both of them have been massive contributors to our success over the four years or so I have had them.
“It is difficult, I don't dispute that, but challenges come all the time. We will have to address that if that's the case. It is going to be a big summer anyway for us to recruit players to help us compete and they are two big voids to fill.
Meanwhile, Warne’s assistant, Richie Barker, also commented on the matter earlier this month, saying of the defender's situation, “That’s another one where in the next few days we’re going to have to say, ‘Look, mate, if it’s a ‘no’ and you want to explore elsewhere we’re going to have to move on.’… If we don’t do that we’re going to end up missing out on targets. We are drawing up plans to replace him but would be very pleased if that changed in the next few days. He would be a big loss for us if he goes.”
It has been reported elsewhere that Ihiekwe was poised to join Derby County, however they may miss out due to their ongoing ownership struggles that see them still under embargo at this point in time.