Rotherham United ready to pay fees for new blood to boost ranks

STEVE EVANS: ongoing talent search. Pic by JIM BRAILSFORDSTEVE EVANS: ongoing talent search. Pic by JIM BRAILSFORD
STEVE EVANS: ongoing talent search. Pic by JIM BRAILSFORD
​ROTHERHAM United are closing in on more new signings and are prepared to pay transfer fees to bring some of them to South Yorkshire.

Seven new faces have already come through the door at AESSEAL New York Stadium in a rush of early summer activity.

That pace was never going to be kept up and manager Steve Evans is now on with “fine tuning” the squad with selective signings.

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Whether any come to fruition this week is still in doubt, but good progress is being made in collaboration with head of recruitment Rob Scott and chairman Tony Stewart.

Key role: Rob Scott.Key role: Rob Scott.
Key role: Rob Scott.

“We are really close on a couple and I have to give people back at the ranch enormous credit,” said Evans, speaking to the Advertiser from his holiday base.

“We also looking at a wide acquisition who can play both sides of the pitch and we have identified who we like in that area.

“We have also identified someone who can play off the strikers if we were taking the option to play with a false no.9 or a diamond or whoever it is could exploit and score goals from that position.

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“Rob is speaking to their clubs and representatives now. I’m speaking to those players too and that dialogue will continue to the weekend.

"One or two of those wouldn’t be coming on a free transfer, we’d have to be buying those players.”

A goalkeeper to vie for the no.1 jersey with Dillon Phillips now Viktor Johansson has moved on is another priority for Evans. He has made it clear the 28-year-old has the potential to make the shirt his own but a strong rival for the slot is needed.

“Competition for Dillon Phillips is one of the options we’re looking at at the moment,” he added.

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“I’m really excited for Dillon. I can’t hide it. I think the kid has done everything right since I came into the building but we’re going to give him some healthy competition.”

In the meantime the boss can reflect on swift business that has brought Jonson Clarke-Harris, Joe Rafferty, Sean Raggett, Joe Powell, Reece James, Sean McWilliams and Liam Kelly to the club.

“If it was a Grand Prix, we’d be the first away. We’ve had a brilliant start,” added Evans.