Boss Paul Warne meets Rotherham United centre-half target

By Paul Davis | 17/08/2019

Boss Paul Warne meets Rotherham United centre-half target
Paul Warne

ROTHERHAM United’s bid to land their latest centre-half target hinges on a meeting between the player and manager Paul Warne.

The pair will come face to face today, with the Millers having already ironed out the financial details of a potential full transfer.

“I’m seeing the player,” confirmed Warne, who is also looking to bring in two wingers from a three-man shortlist. “Everyone has given their consent. There is nothing dodgy about that.

“I want to get a good feel for him. I’ll go and spend a couple of hours in his time and we’ll see what we think of each other.”

Having missed out on three other central defenders, Rotherham, who travel to Burton Albion in League One tomorrow, switched their attention to a fourth target — a player believed to be with a club in a higher division.

“The deal is do-able,” Warne said. “Everything that needs to be agreed is already agreed. We have other targets as well. This is the easiest one. It doesn’t mean it’s the one we’ll choose. He’s available on a free transfer.”

The boss intends to add two wide men to his squad to give him more options than the 4-3-3 system the Millers have adopted so far this season.

“We have a bid for a winger on a permanent deal and are also looking to bring in two wingers on loan from Championship clubs.

“With the board’s backing, my dream scenario would be to get a centre-half and two of the three wingers.

“The wingers have to be ones that can play in a midfield three or a midfield four. They have to be more than just wingers who just stand out there with their feet on the touchline and whip crosses in.

“They have to have a bit more about them. That’s why the search is more difficult; that and the fact wingers don’t seem to exist anymore. Or if they do, their clubs want to keep them.

“The good thing is, with the Championship window having shut, I’m not competing with clubs like Hull City and Sheffield Wednesday for players.

“The deals seem more realistic than they have in previous years because of that. I am competing with the top echelons of League One and we’re pretty competitive in that area.”

Warne is happy with his three main central defenders — Michael Ihiekwe, Clark Robertson and Richard Wood — but believes extra cover is required.

Youngster Jake Cooper has impressed since stepping up from the youth ranks but isn’t considered ready to be a league starter.

“I need a centre-half to back up what I already have,” Warne said. “I have only one senior right-sided centre-half in Icky (Ihiekwe).

“Icky has probably been our most outstanding player. If something happened to him, I’d be struggling.”

The manager isn’t anticipating any departures before the transfer window closes on September 2 because he is operating with a small squad. “It’s more about adding than taking away,” he said.


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