ROTHERHAM United manager Paul Warne is already in contact with the club's top targets as he prepares for the New Year transfer window.
The Millers boss would be content to make no signings in January and keep his trust in his present squad but accepts that departures from AESSEAL New York Stadium could force his hand.
Warne is braced for big-money offers for prized assets like central defender Semi Ajayi and knows that some of his fringe men may want to move on.
He said: “We're getting our options in place in the areas where we feel we might have to strengthen whether that's because we lose a player to a ridiculous bid or because someone is dejected and wants to leave to play more first-team football. We're prepared for both scenarios.
“There are targets. For example, if one of my wingers wants to leave, there are three or four other wingers we like.
“There are a couple of players I touch base with now and again, players I'd like to sign if there is an opportunity in January or next summer.
“I don't want bids for any of our players, to be fair. If it was a ridiculous bid, though, we have to have some sort of back-up.
“I'm also well aware that some players who aren't getting as much game-time as they'd like might, understandably, want to move on. If that is the case then I'll need to get people in. I have got players in mind to bring in if other players leave.”
The manager, whose team are 20th in the Championship, is hoping the personal touch pays off if he does decide to recruit.
“I'm a bit like that, aren't I? I always like to reach out to people,” he said. “There are a couple of players I've tried to sign who I've kind of befriended and I always touch base if they score or something.
“I haven't gone out and met anyone yet. The ones we do like, we keep watching them to make sure they are what we think they are and do our research on them. What they do, how they are, what their friends think about them ... we collect as much information like that as we can.
“I sincerely love the group I have got. If you said to me now that at the end of January nothing will have changed and you'll have the same squad, I'd be happy.
“We've backed them since the summer and they've gone toe to toe with nearly every team.”
A version of this article first appeared in last week's Advertiser