Ollie Rathbone and the extra Rotherham United year

Ollie RathboneOllie Rathbone
Ollie Rathbone
New-deal talks between the Millers and their midfield man are in progress.

ROTHERHAM United have the power to keep star man Ollie Rathbone for an extra year even if the midfielder doesn’t agree a new contract with them.

Negotiations are progressing and both club and player have expressed their desire to stay together, with any resolution likely to come in the summer.

It has emerged that Rotherham hold a 12-month extension option on the 26-year-old who moved to AESSEAL New York Stadium from Rochdale on three-year terms in 2021.

That means that if for any reason an agreement can’t be reached the Millers could activate that clause at the end of next season and hang on to the former Manchester United youngster if they wish.

Rathbone, a stand-out performer this term, has missed the last four matches with a groin issue but a return to the Championship survival fight over the Easter weekend hasn’t been ruled out. He had an injection last Friday to alleviate his problem and has taken part in some training this week.

Speaking yesterday afternoon, Taylor said: “He’s done a little bit this week in a controlled environment.

“He was with the team in certain training practices today but did very little opposed stuff. He seems better on the back of the injection.

“The biggest aspect is that he needs to have no reaction to today. Then he’s got a chance of being available in some capacity.

“You need to ease him back in and be sensible with how you use him. We have missed him and we do want him back on the pitch.”

The plan is for Rathbone to undergo a light session today and then be assessed ahead of the Good Friday visit of West Bromwich Albion (kick-off 1pm).

On the subject of a new deal, Taylor said: “We’ve had initial talks. He’s in a safe position as a player and we’re in a safe position as a club.

“He needs to be rewarded for his performances. I’ve already given him the armband.”

Rotherham head to Norwich City on Monday.


A NUMBER of Rotherham United players face late fitness checks as the Millers gear up for their Good Friday showdown with West Bromwich Albion at AESSEAL New York Stadium.

Defenders Lee Peltier and Tyler Blackett have been nursing back and hamstring issues respectively while striker Tom Eaves has been sidelined by a hip complaint.

Right-back Peter Kioso (ankle) and midfielder Ollie Rathbone (groin) are also under the supervision of the club’s medical team.

Peltier had to come off in Saturday’s 1-1 Championship draw at Hull City. “He hasn’t done anything as yet this week,” manager Matt Taylor said. “We’ll assess him going into Friday.”

Blackett, a free-agent signing last month, tweaked his hamstring in training and sat out the trip to Hull.

Speaking yesterday afternoon, Taylor said: “He’s done a small amount on the grass today. He’s got to hit certain markers tomorrow — whether he can sprint, whether he can turn and sprint. We’ll make a decision on Friday morning.”

Eaves missed training earlier in the week but managed a light workout yesterday

Taylor revealed that centre-half Cameron Humphreys is playing through a knee condition.

Midfielder Domingos Quina misses Friday’s clash because of a one-match ban but is in the frame for Monday’s match at Norwich City.