Rotherham United boss Paul Warne eyeing free-agent signing

Shaun MacDonald is injured at Stoke City last SaturdayShaun MacDonald is injured at Stoke City last Saturday
Shaun MacDonald is injured at Stoke City last Saturday
ROTHERHAM United boss Paul Warne is planning to meet a free-agent target next week as he looks to fill the midfield gap left by broken-leg victim Shaun MacDonald.

The manager has been keeping tabs on the player for several months and is hoping to make his move now that MacDonald has been ruled out until the New Year.

Any deal would have to receive the green light from chairman Tony Stewart first.

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"I have got someone in mind," Warne said. "I have had the same person in mind for the last three or four months.

"I have to go through the same process we always go through. Me and Rob (head of recruitment Scott) are thinking the same but you have to get permission because everything costs.

"I think the player may be keen on coming but, in the nicest possible way, I am just thinking: 'Let's get this game out of the way on Saturday.'

"Then I will arrange to meet the player probably next week and see if anything can materialise. I have to see if the club has an appetite for it."

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With Joe Mattock picking up a hamstring injury that is likely to keep him out for three weeks and potential stand-ins Clark Roberton and Billy Jones also sidelined, Warne acknowledges that left-back is also an area of concern.

Trevor Clark is fit but the boss says he sees him more as a left winger than a defender.

However, a new midfielder appears to be a bigger priority and Warne added: "I think it is a big blow losing Macca.

"When you are playing with three centre mids and you only have four in the building and you are playing two games a week in the way we play, physically it is exhausting.

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"If you look at our fixtures coming up, to play all those games and for everyone to stay fit is pretty tricky. If I could bring a midfielder in, with a good wind, I think I would.

"Then the January transfer window will be big for every club."

Rotherham are at home to Preston North End tomorrow and then have a fortnight's international break in which to broker a free-agent deal.