New development in Chiedozie Ogbene's Rotherham United contract situation
ROTHERHAM United are re-opening new-deal negotiations with Chiedozie Ogbene after the winger said that his future may lie at AESSEAL New York Stadium after all.
Manager Matt Taylor revealed last week that discussions had come to a halt and that he was resigned to losing the 25-year-old Republic of Ireland international who is due to become a free agent in the summer.
But Ogbene has told the Advertiser that he is open to extending his four-year stay with the Millers.
Speaking after the 1-1 draw at Swansea City last week, he said: “I am hoping there are more talks. I’m being really honest with you. They’ve stopped for now. I’m hoping we can find a solution.
“I’m just hoping that my performances can help me earn that contract. I want to earn the respect of the club and see what lies ahead.”
Manager Matt Taylor confirmed this week that there will be further dialogue between now and the close of the Championship campaign.
“We’re in that process again,” the boss said. “We’ll keep on trying. He seems to be enjoying his football and is in a good place.”
Ogbene will have other suitors at the end of the season but the boss believes Rotherham, who head to Birmingham City on Saturday, are more serious contenders now that they’re taking significant steps towards ensuring their second-tier survival.
The package they could offer the flying attacker as a side in that division far exceeds what they’d be able to pay if they slipped back to League One.
Chairman Tony Stewart invested heavily in the January transfer window and has pledged to keep spending to help the club establish themselves long term in the Championship
Taylor said: “We know Chieo’s strength of hand in terms of what options he may have come the end of the season. “We want to be one of those options.
“In months gone by, maybe we haven’t been seen as a realistic option. That might be changing. The fact that’s he’s indicating an interest along with his agent is encouraging.
“With what we’ve done recruitment-wise, there’s probably a feeling from the players who were already here that we’re trying to move in the right direction.
“Chieo knows what I think of him, he knows what the club think of him. We’re hopeful.”
Ogbene joined the Millers from Brentford in 2019 and has since gone on to win two third-tier promotions and Papa Johns Trophy silverware as well as win his first Ireland caps.
“I’m hoping that my performances have shown I really want to be here and that I really care about the club,” he said.