Rotherham United face up to the difficulties of keeping winger Chiedozie Ogbene

ROTHERHAM United accept they face a bigger battle to hang on to star man Chiedozie Ogbene after the winger's impact on the international stage.
Chieo Ogbene scores for the Republic of IrelandChieo Ogbene scores for the Republic of Ireland
Chieo Ogbene scores for the Republic of Ireland

The Millers would love to tie the 24-year-old to a long-term deal but are fully aware other clubs are likely to come calling.

The wide man is out of contract in the summer but Rotherham have an an option to extend his stay at AESSEAL New York Stadium by a further 12 months and would be able to demand a big fee if they chose to sell one of their prize assets.

Manager Paul Warne said: "The more games Chieo plays against Europe's greatest - he's playing against Portugal, he's not playing, with all due respect, against San Marino - the more awareness other people will have of him and the more difficult it will be for us to keep him.

"I'm not naive enough to sit here thinking we can offer him a deal that will absolutely water his eyes and no-one else can compete with that.

"However, we will still have the conversations with him and try to sell him the dream."

Ogbene has been a huge hit with the Republic since his first call-up last June. He played in a 0-0 draw with Cristiano's Portugal last week and on Sunday scored his second goal for the Irish in a 3-0 win over Luxembourg.

Warne believes that, with chairman Tony Stewart's support, he will be able to keep the attacker in the New Year January transfer window as the Millers push for a third successive promotion from League One.

"I cannot see us selling anyone in January unless the money is ridiculous," the manager said. "The chairman has never said I have to sell anyone.

"If we get another six months out of Chieo or another 18 months, great. Would I like to sign Chieo on a five-year deal? Of course I would. That becomes more difficult if he keeps taking on teams like Portugal

"We've got an option on him. I don't need to activate it yet. I'd rather sit down with him when the time is right and try to get him on an extended deal. However, I have to be realistic."