Fulham give cause for hope in Marek Rodak's Rotherham United loan situation

Marek RodakMarek Rodak
Marek Rodak
ROTHERHAM United's hopes of hanging on to key man Marek Rodak have been handed a major boost by the loan goalkeeper's parent club, Fulham.

The Premier League outfit have given the Millers the go-ahead to play Rodak in their FA Cup third-round clash at Manchester City on January 6.

Rotherham boss Paul Warne, whose side drew 1-1 with strugglers Reading in the Championship on Saturday, is now optimistic that the shot-stopper will remain at AESSEAL New York Stadium for the rest of the second-tier campaign.

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Rodak is on a season-long deal in South Yorkshire but there have been fears that Fulham, caught up in a relegation scrap and with a new manager in Claudio Ranieri at the helm, could recall the 21-year-old in the January transfer window.

“We have asked for permission for Marek to play in the FA Cup and they've agreed,” Warne said. “I'm hoping that is a pretty reasonable sign.”

Talks between the two clubs have taken place at a senior level.

“I haven't spoken to Fulham about Marek,” Warne said. “I've never had a line of contact with Fulham. With some of the other clubs who have loaned us players, like Bristol City and Norwich City, I actually speak to people. Fulham would be a chief-exec-to-chief-exec conversation.

“Until I hear something, I regard no news as good news.”

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Rodak has been in superb form and is an ever-present in the league this term.

Warne is hoping all of his five-strong loan contingent — Rodak, defender Zak Vyner, centre-half Sean Raggett and midfielders Richie Towell and Ryan Manning — will remain at New York and has yet to decide whether to recall any of the men the Millers have allowed to move out temporarily.

“I'd like to think we will be keeping all of our loanees,” the boss said, “But that can change in a heartbeat. QPR, for instance, could get a spate of injuries and suddenly want Ryan Manning back.”

Among the Rotherham players at other clubs are forward David Ball (Bradford City), striker Jerry Yates (Carlisle United), central defender Michael Ihiekwe (Accrington Stanley) and left-back Ben Purrington (AFC Wimbledon).

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“There have been conversations behind closed doors, so to speak,” Warne said.

“Right now, I still haven't made a decision on all of them because I don't know what's going to happen here.

“If someone leaves here or someone gets a long-term injury, that could change our thinking.

“Things are getting reassessed all the time.”

Meanwhile, forward Kyle Vassell, who has been laid low by a groin complaint, could be fit for the Christmas schedule.

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“Until Vass is pain-free we're not going to include him in training on the grass,” Warne said.

Kyle Vassell

“He's getting markedly better. He's down to the last little bit of pain now, which is good, but sometimes, ironically, that bit takes the longest.

“I'd like to think that he will be back for the festive fixtures. We're more than hopeful we'll have him back available before Christmas.”

A version of this article first appeared in last Friday's Advertiser