Rotherham United close in on striker while Paul Warne reveals whether there's been a bid for Michael Smith and if Millers are chasing Leon Clarke

ROTHERHAM United are looking to wrap up a permanent striker signing before this weekend's Championship clash with table-topping Leeds United.
Paul WarnePaul Warne
Paul Warne

The Millers have submitted a bid and are keen for negotiations to be completed ahead of Saturday's visit of Marcelo Bielsa's leaders to AESSEAL New York Stadium

"I think I'm close," said manager Paul Warne who revealed that, contrary to some reports, second-tier rivals Hull City haven't made a move for Rotherham centre-forward Michael Smith.

"I went and met a player on Tuesday. He wants to come. We've put an offer into his club. I'm hoping it will be negotiated out today and with any luck the player will be able to join us for the weekend."

The target is the one Warne mentioned after the match at Ipswich Town earlier this month when he said he would have to play a 10-day waiting game while the player's club worked on their own transfer-window recruitment.

The Rotherham boss said there had been no contact from Hull over Smith and played down the prospect of the Millers taking Sheffield United striker Leon Clarke on loan before next Thursday's January 31 deadline.

Michael Smith

"I've spoken to Smithy himself and I've spoken to Paul Douglas (chief operating officer)," he said. "As I sit here talking to you now, there hasn't been a bid.

"Smithy knows nothing about it. Whenever there's a story like that I always think there is an agent behind it. I haven't heard anything.

"I haven't had any contact with Leon Clarke. At the moment, nothing is moving on that one."

In addition to the potential striker arrival, Warne wants to make at least one other addition to his squad.

Talks about turning midfielder Richie Towell's season-long loan into a full transfer have broken down.

"I don't see that happening in this window," Warne said. "I'm hopeful he will still be our player for the rest of the season but a permanent deal is something we will have to revisit in the summer, I think.

"His agent and us haven't been able to come to a deal. We can't agree. It's no massive drama."

Richie Towell

The manager expects a couple of his fringe players to leave in the next week but is still hoping to emerge from January with all of his key men still at his disposal.

"To my knowledge, there haven't been bids for any of my players and I'd like to keep it that way," he said. "I said before the window that if we kept all of our main players we would have had a good January."

Warne is hoping a packed New York will bring out the best in his 21st-placed side against Leeds.

"More often than not when there has been a full house at the stadium the lads have performed really well," he said.

"We're going to need all the help we can get from the crowd because this Leeds team is something else.

"They lost against a great Stoke City team last week but dominated the game and still had more than 70 per cent possession even though they were down to 10 men. It is going to take a pretty colossal effort from us to get something.

"Pep Guardiola's football philosophies have come from Bielsa. Leeds play a similar style to Manchester City.

"Their players can all handle the ball and they trust each other with the ball. They're all fit and quick. It's no surprise they're top of the league."