ROTHERHAM United have turned their attention away from a new striker as they look to add to their firepower before the close of the transfer window on Monday.
Boss Paul Warne has spent much of the month targeting a frontman to boost the bid for Championship safety.
However, with the players he wanted out of the club’s price range, his focus is now concentrated elsewhere.
“For us to get an affordable centre-forward who is better than what we’ve already got, I ain’t so sure on that,” he said. “But if we could get another attacking midfielder who could also play as a ‘10’ that would be good.
“Matt Crooks is playing in that role now. He has added goals to his game and is a real threat there while we play that (3-5-1-1) system. But if anything happens to Crooksy who’s the next natural one in?
“We’re playing with four central midfielders and we have only five. The chances of all of them staying fit and in form for the rest of the season are limited. An attacking midfielder/10 with good legs would be my ideal fit.”
Warne, whose side were in action at Middlesbrough last night and face AESSEAL New York Stadium matches against Swansea City on Saturday and Derby County next Tuesday, anticipates a couple more of his players will leave on loan before deadline day’s 11pm close of business.
The Millers completed their first signing of the window on Tuesday with the arrival of Wolverhampton Wanderers wing-back Ryan Giles and the manager is aiming for at least one more incoming.
“The recruitment team are trying hard to make that happen,” he said. “As I sit here now, I’d be lying if I was definitive about the fact it will happen. I’m not 100 per cent sure.”
Warne, who says the market is suddenly opening up, believes the quest for new blood will run into Monday but wants to avoid trying to wrap up a deal late at night.
“I hate all that razzmatazz and desperation of a deadline-day evening,” he said.
“We have been offered players who were unaffordable earlier in the window and are now suddenly in our price range. It’s like a Boxing Day sale. They’re reduced by 75 per cent.
“I think we will still be trying to do business on Monday but not in those last two hours of absolute mayhem. We want to have something sorted on Sunday so we can do the deal earlier the next day.
“It would be naive of me, though, to say we’ll be shutting our books and turning off our phones on Monday evening.”
ROTHERHAM United walked away from a potential deal with free agent Armand Gnanduillet because they didn’t believe he could improve their Championship frontline.
The former Blackpool striker, who this week signed an 18th-month contract with Hearts, was seeking a new club after a spell playing in Turkey and was on the Millers’ radar.
Manager Paul Warne said: “He’ll probably go to the Scottish Premier League and do really well but I have to look at it and think: ‘Is he better than the three centre-forwards I’ve got in the building?’ I have to make my decision based on that.
“He flashed up with our recruitment team because he was available and affordable.
“He was on our list but that list has plenty of names for every position. He was just one of those names. There was never a massive appetite from me to make it happen.”
There was contact between Rotherham and the 28-year-old forward’s representative but it didn’t reach the stage where Warne became involved.
“I never spoke to his agent, I never spoke to the player,” the boss said. “For now, it wasn’t something that was top of my agenda.”
However, Rotherham haven’t ruled out the possibility of trying to bring Gnanduillet to AESSEAL New York Stadium in the future.
“He possibly has the strengths to play for our team,” Warne said. “He’s a physical presence, works quite hard and, on his day, can nick goals. I’m not saying our paths won’t cross. It might be something we look at in the summer.”
NEW boy Ryan Giles has pledged to give his all to Rotherham United’s Championship survival cause after moving to the Millers on loan until the end of the season.
The speedy left-footer arrived from Premier League Wolverhampton Wanderers on Tuesday, his 21st birthday, and was set to be in the squad for last night’s match at Middlesbrough.
“I’m here to get experience,” he said. “Whatever happens, I’ll give my full commitment to the club, whether that is on the pitch or from the sidelines.
“I’d like to get as many minutes as possible but ultimately it’s all about the team.”
Rotherham, in the drop zone but with games in hand, swooped for the wing-back after he was recalled from a loan spell at second-tier rivals Coventry City for whom he made 19 league appearances.
“I spoke to the manager and Richie Barker, the assistant manager, before joining and had good conversations with them,” Giles said. “ I was really impressed with what they said and what they are after.
“The best teams run. That is the way the game is going. You have to be fit, strong and powerful. They are qualities I’m hoping to bring to the team.”
Warne revealed that the capture of Giles — the Millers’ first incoming of the January transfer window — was the end of a long pursuit of the England under-20 international.
“He’s a player we’ve liked for a couple of years,” the boss said. “He’s someone I’ve tried to sign before. He can play left-back or left wing but I think left wing-back is his best position.”
The youngster has yet to make a senior appearance for Wolves but impressed on loan at League One Shrewsbury Town last term before heading to Coventry in the summer. He went back to Molineux because the Sky Blues had too many loan players on their books.
Warne said: “We are playing with wing-backs and that is the perfect position for him. The way we want to get crosses into the box, he definitely suits us.”