Seven days to sign ... Michael Ihiekwe and Joe Mattock contract latest, injury updates, plus why there's no new trialist at Rotherham United

By Paul Davis | 10/10/2019

Seven days to sign ... Michael Ihiekwe and Joe Mattock contract latest, injury updates, plus why there's no new trialist at Rotherham United
Michael Ihiekwe

ROTHERHAM United expect Michael Ihiekwe and Joe Mattock to commit their futures to the club within the next seven days.

Offers of new deals for the defensive duo have been on the table since early September and, after a month of negotiations, both players are on the brink of accepting.

"I saw an e-mail on Wednesday from Joe's agent and I think we're virtually there on that one," said manager Paul Warne who takes his League One side to Blackpool on Saturday.

"It was from his agent to the chief exec (Paul Douglas). I can't foresee any problems with Joe. I don't foresee any problems with Icky really either.

"I'd be amazed if it takes longer than another week. If it's longer than next week, then I will respect the fact that they no longer want to re-sign."

The Millers have upped their original offers while centre-half Ihiekwe and left-back Joe Mattock have lowered their demands in a bid to come to an agreement.

Both players, whose present contracts are due to expire at the end of the season, have told the Advertiser they are keen to stay and Warne has met with them individually to speed up the process.

"I'm not putting a deadline on it but, realistically, the club and the players have both moved; we've both come as far as we can," the boss said. "We will know within the next seven days.

"The club have made their best and final offers. The lads respect the fact that I've spoken to them personally. They know the script. Joe, especially, has been here a while. He knows what does and doesn't happen."

Joe Mattock

Midtable Rotherham should have winger Chiedozie Ogbene back in the squad after hamstring trouble for the trip to the fourth-placed Seasiders and striker Kyle Vassell may also make the cut after recovering from a hamstring issue as well.

Midfielders Jamie Lindsay and Shaun MacDonald took knocks to the ankle and mouth respectively in the 3-2 midweek EFL Trophy win over Doncaster Rovers but should be available this weekend.

Striker Freddie Ladapo may miss out with a hamstring niggle. "He is a severe doubt," Warne said.

Meanwhile, the chances of former Newcastle United winger Callum Roberts coming to the Millers for a trial appear to be receding.

Illness has prevented the 22-year-old, who has dropped into non-league football with Blyth Spartans, from travelling to South Yorkshire after he was recommended by midfielder Dan Barlaser who is on loan with the Millers from the Premier League Magpies.

"He's had tonsillitis, he's had something else," Warne said. "He was brought to our attention, He's doing quite well at Blyth Spartans. Dan asked if we would have a look at him. We have a pretty open-door policy here so we didn't mind.

"For now, we haven't been able to make it work. Callum hasn't been fit or well. Until he contacts us, nothing is occurring. The door is still open but at the moment I don't see anything happening."

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