STRIKER Michael Smith isn’t ruling out staying with Rotherham United, saying he remains “open” to the idea of signing a new deal.
The frontman is out of contract next summer and could move to another side after being a key man for the Millers ever since his January 2018 switch from Bury.
Smith, who remained at the club on transfer-window deadline day despite prolonged interest from several Championship sides, rejected new terms at the end of last season.
But the 29-year-old stresses that doesn’t mean he is certain to leave AESSEAL New York Stadium.
When the Advertiser asked him if he would give the chance to extend his stay genuine consideration, he replied: “Of course. I’d be a fool not to. My family are settled here and I know the club really well.
“We’ll have to assess the situation at the time but it would definitely be something I’d be open to.”
Rotherham, looking for a third successive League One promotion under Paul Warne, plan to offer their centre-forward new terms but will leave it a while before reopening negotiations.
Smith, a target for Middlesbrough, Bristol City and Cardiff City during the summer, hasn’t let the speculation turn his head and goes into Saturday’s home clash with Fleetwood Town looking to add to his three goals in the first five games.
“It’s always nice to be spoken about by anyone,” he said. “It means you’re doing something right. I’ve just kept the same approach I’ve always had: get my head down, keep working hard and try to reach the targets I’ve set myself.
“It’s pointless changing anything now because, touch wood, it’s worked out pretty well at Rotherham so far.
“Early on in my career little things might have bothered me — sniffs about me moving here or there. I’ve learned now, though, that until you sign on the dotted line somewhere you’ve just got to focus on what you can control.
“At the minute, and for the foreseeable future, that means doing my best for Rotherham.”
The player lives north of Barnsley and he, partner Hannah and their 18-month-old daughter, Poppy, are happy in South Yorkshire.
Rotherham will wait before making an approach to a player Warne has described as “irreplaceable”.
“We don’t do it yet,” said the boss. “Not through lack of respect for Smudge. He would politely decline it. I had that conversation with him not that long ago and he rejected it. I don’t think anything has changed since then.
“He’s in really good form. If he stays like that and bangs in X amount of goals for us to get himself and his family a better life, I can’t blame him.
“I will have a conversation with him, but not now. It’s not right. I’ll do it probably a few months down the line. If he wants to knock on my door, he can come and see me.”