The state of play with Rotherham United and new-contract talks

ROTHERHAM United are biding their time before making firm offers to any out-of-contract players they want to keep at AESSEAL New York Stadium beyond the end of this season.

A number of Leam Richardson's first-team squad are approaching the expiry of their deals and the majority of them are expected to be released.

The Championship's bottom side, whose impending relegation could be confirmed as early as Good Friday if results go against them, plan to open negotiations with a select few in due course.

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“Not at the minute,” said Richardson when the Advertiser asked the boss if discussions were taking place. “I think we've got some pressing issues.

“The club is respectful of the players' situation and the players are respectful of the club's. That (talks) will take place in good time. Our most pressing issue at the moment is the games.”

The Millers, who begin their eight-match run-in at Preston North End on Friday, hold 12-month extension options on Ollie Rathbone and Hakeem Odoffin.

Other players coming to the end of their terms are Lee Peltier, Sean Morrison, Grant Hall, Tyler Blackett, Tolaji Bola, Jamie Lindsay, Cafu, Sam Clucas and Shane Ferguson.

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Viktor Johansson is set to be sold, despite having a year left at New York, as a release clause means he can depart if interested clubs offer a certain figure, while loanees Seb Revan, Arvin Appiah, Andy Rinomhota, Charlie Wyke and Femi Seriki will bid farewell.

Richardson says a list of summer recruitment targets has already been drawn up. His title is ‘head coach’ but he is taking an active interest in all aspects of Rotherham's football operation rather than just focusing on first-team affairs.

He said: “I've got many opinions and many thoughts on not just the playing staff but also on departments around the club - about how we can function and get to a really strong level.

“It's important then in managing up to the owner and into Paul (Douglas, chief operating officer) and Karen (Thomas, finance director).”

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With the Millers' drop fate all but sealed with more than a month of the season left, they are in a position to get a jump-start on their planned signings for next term.

Rob Scott was named director of football in January but also held on to the head-of-recruitment duties he's performed since early 2019.

Richardson said: “When departments have been functioning for five or six years, you'd hope there are already profiles and processes in place.

“We have to be the best version of ourselves. If we think we can get ahead of the curve because of the situation we're in, then of course we should do that.”

Rotherham are at home to Millwall on Monday.