Rotherham United, Chiedozie Ogbene and a new deal ... are the club and player still talking?

Chiedozie OgbeneChiedozie Ogbene
Chiedozie Ogbene
Manager Matt Taylor on the contract situations of the flying winger and defender Wes Harding.

MANAGER Matt Taylor has accepted that Chiedozie Ogbene and Rotherham United will part company at the end of the season and is no longer trying to tie the flying attacker to a new deal.

The Republic of Ireland international is out of contract in the summer and will be able to sign for another club as a free agent.

The 25-year-old has rejected new terms and Taylor says negotiations have come to an end.

Defender Wes Harding  is in the same situation as Ogbene and is also set to depart at the close of the Championship campaign

“I don’t think so,” said Taylor when asked if he could see a scenario in which either player stayed.

“Discussions have been and gone. They went through November, December and January. That was a long period of time.”

Ogbene has been with Rotherham since leaving Brentford in 2019 and has since won two League One promotions and Papa Johns Trophy silverware and broken into Ireland’s senior set-up.

Harding, aged 26, arrived from Birmingham City a year later and has a promotion and a Papa Johns success to his name. He has also received international recognition from Jamaica during his spell at AESSEAL New York Stadium.

Taylor will keep picking both players if their form merits selection even though their time in South Yorkshire seems to be running out.

“I have got no qualms with contractual situations,” he said. “Until I see something different in terms of performance or effort — which I have not seen from those two players — I don’t need to feel the need to discuss it or make it an issue in any way.”

Ogbene hadn’t been at his best since the close of the January transfer window until a return to form at Swansea City on Monday.

Harding has found himself out of the starting 11 in recent weeks and on one occasion, against Coventry City, didn’t make the matchday 18.

Taylor refuted the suggestion that either player was giving less than their all in the final weeks of their deals as Rotherham fight to keep a foothold in the second tier.

“They care a lot,” he said. “I don’t think contractual situations come into their mindset in any way.

“I’m pretty sure when Wes or Chieo or any player steps on to that pitch they aren’t thinking about the next day, let alone the next week or next season. They are just thinking about what is directly in front of them and how they can perform.”