ROTHERHAM United are drawing up a list of potential signings in case they lose any of their strikers in the January transfer window.
Manager Paul Warne has a quartet of centre-forwards at his disposal in Michael Smith, loanee Will Grigg, Freddie Ladapo and Josh Kayode and wants them all to stay at AESSEAL New York Stadium.
However, he acknowledges that his hand could be forced when business opens again in the New Year.
“I need to know, if any of my strikers were to leave, who are the possible replacements who have similar attributes and I can afford to bring in,” he said.
“I don’t want to sign one because I like the four I’ve got but it might get to the stage where Josh hasn’t had enough game-time and he wants to go. More likely than not, he’ll stay.
“Freddie might have the same attitude and he might want to go, Griggy might get called back. Smudge might attract an offer that the club can’t turn down.
“These are all connotations that are in my head all the time.
“I’m preparing for the fact that one or two strikers may go. Hopefully it won’t happen. Strikers are the hardest to replace. There is a real dearth of affordable, great strikers for us.”
Warne is due to be part of a club meeting today when recruitment and the contract situation of players in the last year of their deals are set to be discussed.
Parent club Sunderland could recall Grigg in January but won’t be able to sell him or loan him to another team, which was a prospect raised last week.
The 30-year-old made an appearance for the Black Cats in the EFL Cup before joining Rotherham and the EFL have confirmed to the Advertiser that the ‘two club’ rule means he can’t play for any side other than the Wearsiders or the Millers this season.
Grigg endured a miserable time at the Stadium of Light and if Sunderland continue to do well in League One without him it will increase the chances of them allowing the player to remain in South Yorkshire even though Warne’s men are promotion rivals.
Fifth-placed Rotherham return from the international break on Saturday with a home date against Portsmouth.
Defender Joe Mattock resumed training this week after achilles trouble and could make the squad.
The clash sees a return to AESSEAL New York Stadium of George Hirst, the frontman who failed to score in 32 loan games with the Millers last season.
The Leicester City forward is now on loan at Pompey, for whom he is still seeking his first goal after six league outings as a substitute, and Warne is well aware of what the quirks of football could throw up.
“I don’t wish George any ill but obviously I don’t want to see him come on and belt a winner in, which he is more than capable of doing,” the manager said. “It adds a little bit more to the game.
“I don’t know if he will start or play a part in it because I can’t speak for (Portsmouth boss) Danny Cowley and what he is planning to do, but I have worked in the past with managers who would 100 per cent play George against us.”