Good news for Rotherham United amid January hopes of keeping Viktor Johansson

THE chances of Rotherham United holding on to star man Viktor Johansson have been boosted, with Sheffield United shelving their interest in the goalkeeper in this month's transfer window.

The Premier League Blades are admirers of the Swedish international who was the Millers' Player of the Year last season during the Championship survival push and has continued in the same form this term.

They will continue to monitor the 25-year-old but if they decide to make a bid it is unlikely to come until the summer.

The Bramall Lane outfit are focusing their January attention on trying to bring in Croatian shot-stopper Ivo Grbić from Spanish side Atletico Madrid to fight with Wes Foderingham for the first-team jersey.

Rotherham United goalkeeper Viktor Johansson. Picture: Jim BrailsfordRotherham United goalkeeper Viktor Johansson. Picture: Jim Brailsford
Rotherham United goalkeeper Viktor Johansson. Picture: Jim Brailsford

Johansson signed a new contract at AESSEAL New York Stadium a year ago and is tied to Rotherham until the end of next season.

The Millers are in a strong bargaining position and it would take a substantial offer to tempt them into cashing in on their biggest asset as they battle once more for their second-tier safety.

Johansson has been on the Blades' radar for a while and their goalkeeper coach, Matt Duke, has watched him in action in person.

However, the former Leicester City youngster has never been Lane boss Chris Wilder's number-one target in this window.

Sheffield United target Ivo GrbićSheffield United target Ivo Grbić
Sheffield United target Ivo Grbić

The Blades are believed to be close to landing Grbić, who is the back-up to Jan Oblak at Atletico, for around £2 million.

Other clubs are keeping a close watch on Johansson and Matt Taylor, who was Rotherham manager until November, spoke of the possibility of bids coming in from the English top flight and Europe.

New boss Leam Richardson, while accepting there is a price at which the Millers would sell, told the Advertiser: “Absolutely I'd rather Viktor stayed.

“It's not just his performances, he's also an absolutely fantastic person. However his career goes and flourishes, I'll be right behind it.”

Rotherham offered Johansson a chance to kick-start his career during the Covid pandemic when he was back in his homeland after parting company with Leicester and he has always felt he owes them a debt of gratitude.

Speaking earlier in the season, he said he is happy at New York and would never consider agitating for a move.