ROTHERHAM United are getting closer to making their first strikes in the summer transfer market as the first team squad prepares to report back to training next week.
Manager Paul Warne and his staff hope that months of research into the men who could ramp up the club's challenge back in the Championship will come to fruition, with talks having already taken place with players and agents.
The Millers have been linked with Hamilton winger Mikel Miller, who impressed in the SPL with Hamilton last season and is about to become a free agent.
The Croydon-born player, still only 24, has made nearly 70 appearances since joining them in 2018 and can operate down the middle or out wide.
Rotherham need to replace their four departed loan players and at the same time must improve the squad ready for another crack at the second tier.
Although this year's summer business is expected to be slow because the Premier League and Championship are still playing and the 2020/21 season is not due to start until the end of August at the earliest, many players will be out of contract on June 30, increasing the various options.
Assistant manager Richie Barker said: “If we were to say we were to have our squad sorted out by July 1, you would be within your rights to say 'what's the rush, you're not playing for another two months.'
“We have a couple of targets we would like to tie up sooner, but only because they are players we have been tracking for three to six months.
“We are well aware there are big decisions to be made in the Championship over the next week to ten days that could mean players become available.”
Rotherham released winger Julien Lamy and young goalkeeper Laurence Bilboe this week but hope experienced stopper Lewis Price and defender Billy Jones will pen new deals.
Manager Paul Warne wants to bring last season's number one, Daniel Iversen, back from parent club Leicester but will have a vacancy for another stopper.
Reports that free agent keeper Josh Vickers, latterly of Lincoln City, was near the top of the wish list are understood to be wide of the mark.
Outlining the work going into bringing the right people in, Barker added: “For a player to sign usually takes 100 hours of work.
“That includes watching him, meeting him, speaking to him, researching where he's going to fit in and them researching us as a staff and a football club to make sure they know everything before they come.
“(Head of recruitment) Rob Scott has been speaking to agents for weeks now and due to the fact that we have been sat watching players for three months, we started conversations quite a while ago.”
The players report back for training on Wednesday and will operate under social distancing rules.
Added Barker: “I have mapped out most of the pre-season planning this week now we are a bit aware of when the season may start and when Covid -19 testing is available.
“It is complicated because initially players will be working in ones, then twos, then threes and fours to try and keep things as safe as possible.”