What Rotherham United boss Paul Warne said about Derby County's interest in Freddie Ladapo

Rotherham United boss Paul Warne has revealed selling Freddie Ladapo to Derby was never going to happen in the January transfer window, but cannot rule out a summer move.

Thursday, 11th February 2021, 3:13 pm

The Rams enquired about the availability of the Millers' record signing on transfer deadline day last week – 24 hours before the two teams were due to meet in the Championship.

Rotherham quickly rebuffed the interest, with Warne, who did not even find out about Derby's phone call until after the window had shut, saying it would have been “football suicide” to sell him.

Warne and Ladapo have since spoken, but the topic did not come up.

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Rotherham United's Freddie Ladapo was the subject of interest from Derby County on transfer deadline day last week. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

“There has been no conversation,” Warne told the Star.

“I didn't get told there was interest in Freddie until after the window was shut.

“I think it went to the head of recruitment.

“They obviously knew I had no appetite for it, why would I let one of my strikers go to a team around us in the table unless I could replace Freddie with a much better striker, that would be football suicide.

“I think the head of recruitment spoke to Richie Barker because I was in a meeting and he said I wouldn't go for it. I haven't had a conversation with Freddie about it.

“Me and Freddie get on great, I did have a good chat with him, we didn't talk about it but it wasn't like it was the elephant in the room.

“Even his agent didn't think I would allow it to happen.

“It will be something we revisit in the summer. If Derby come knocking and it is something Freddie wants to do, it is not something I want to do.”

Warne has always said that he would never keep a player at the club against their will and openly encourages his squad to use the Millers as a platform for a big move.

But he says Ladapo is happy in South Yorkshire.

“I have said before with all of my players, once they don't want to be here then I am responsible for their lives and happiness,” he said.

“If you have one player in the dressing room who is not happy then you have a problem in the dressing room.

“I don't think I have got that with Freddie, he just wants to play every week, they all do and at the highest level they can.

“There is no shame on Freddie's agent contacting us over a potential move. But at this moment in time it doesn't suit either party.”

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