THE chances of Michael Smith and Michael Ihiekwe staying with Rotherham United are receding.
Manager Paul Warne said last week it is looking “less likely” either will be at AESSEAL New York Stadium next season as both consider taking up new challenges and better deals elsewhere.
Answers on whether top scorer Smith and seasoned defender Ihiekwe would accept improved terms at Rotherham had been expected by now.
Ihiekwe is being linked with Derby County while Smith is being tracked by Cardiff City, Hull City and Sheffield Wednesday.
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 (they will stay).
“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.
“Liverpool don't want to replace Sadio Mane but they have to. You can't have players for ever. No-one stays at a club forever apart from the fans.”