Promoted clubs tracking Chieo Ogbene add to financial muscle in the Championship

ROTHERHAM United boss Matt Taylor says the burgeoning interest in Chieo Ogbene indicates the increasing financial muscle in the Championship.

A string of clubs including Norwich City and Luton Town as well as Sheffield Wednesday, Ipswich Town and Plymouth Argyle — the three promoted up from League One — are among the admirers.

The Millers have also put fresh terms in front of the out-of-contract ace but are only too aware of the market they are operating in.

Taylor said: “I think we all understand the situation and appreciate it. We were all quite pleased to see Chieo in the demand that he is. He has been a great servant for the football club.

“I don't know what clubs are in for him. When a player's contract is running down they don't have to approach us. Our knowledge is like yours. We don't know who or how much. That is all between him and the clubs, he is free to speak to them. We only hear what you guys hear.

“But as for the three promoted clubs mentioned, that might tell you a story about where their budgets are, coming into the league, if they are even in the reckoning to speak to the player.

“It probably tells you what their financial backing is.”

The transfer market remains slow partly because in-demand players up and down the country, like Ogbene, still have time to sit tight and wait for the best offers.

At 26, the next contract is an important one for the Republic of Ireland man but Rotherham have made clear their desire to keep him.

Added Taylor: “I don't think Chieo is in any rush to sign because judging by the press or the rumour mill — and you can take that with a pinch of salt — he has a lot of interest and a lot of suitors.

“I am sure he is assessing all his options and we hope we can remain one of those options for as long as we possibly can, but we are realistic in terms of Chieo's situation.

“This hasn't happened overnight. He has been in the last year of his contract for the best part of ten or 11 months. I think we've all known the situation coming. We knew about it leading into January, let alone leading into the end of the season, so there are no surprises in relation to that.

“We will keep talking to him and see where it takes us.”