Is Grant Ward coming back to Rotherham United? 'Good chance,' says boss Paul Warne

Grant WardGrant Ward
Grant Ward
ROTHERHAM United expect to know by the end of next week whether their six-month pursuit of old boy Grant Ward has paid off.

The Millers are in talks with the winger about a return to AESSEAL New York Stadium and believe there is "a good chance" they will land him.

Manager Paul Warne, whose League One side are at home to Fleetwood Town tomorrow, has wanted Ward, who was released by Ipswich Town at the end of last season, since the summer.

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"I've said from day one that I would like to bring him back to the club and that is still the case because he can cover a few positions," the boss said.

"I really like him as player and I really like him as a kid. He's athletic and if we were fortunate enough to be promoted he could definitely play in the league above. He's definitely one I am looking to try to bring in.

"I think within the next seven days we will know definitively whether we're completely writing ourselves out or we're in a position where he's going to join us."

Ward is fit again after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury on Boxing Day last year and has played twice for Ipswich Under-23s in the last fortnight.

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Town manager Paul Lambert has stressed that the Tractor Boys are only fulfilling their obligation to help the player, who turned 25 earlier this month, complete his rehabilitation.

Warne has been in regular contact with the speedy wide man who helped Rotherham stay up in the Championship during a season-long loan from Spurs in 2015/16.

"Grant's played the two U-23 games. He's not match-ready but he's almost match-ready," he said. "I believe there is a good chance he will come to the club.

"I'll get the game out of the way this weekend, then it's Christmas. I reckon by the end of next week at the latest I will know if he is joining us or if I'm saying: 'Look, Mate, we're moving on. I wish you all the best.'

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"I have said that to him about five times already but I always go back! You can't hang around waiting forever."

Ward has long been one of the top targets for Rotherham who are sixth in the table as they head into the busy festive period. Other clubs are believed to be chasing the signature of the wide man who can also operate in central midfield.

"Over the summer I went to meet him and he wanted to be match-fit before he decided what he wanted to do," Warne said. "I found that impressive because he wasn't being paid wages by anyone.

"He wanted to get fit at Ipswich because he'd been with their physios the whole time. He's almost at the point now, I think, where they'd sign him off.

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"I haven't badgered him. That's not my style at all. I should know in the next seven to ten days because he's going to want to start playing again himself."

Meanwhile, injuries and sickness have hit the Millers this week and there could be absentees in their backline this weekend.

"I've got illness in the camp and illness among my staff," Warne said. "My frontline is looking pretty awesome but I've got issues at the back, that is for sure."