BLACKPOOL defender Curtis Tilt is among the potential replacements for Semi Ajayi if Rotherham United lose their international centre-half this summer.
Ajayi is on Africa Cup of Nations duty with Nigeria later this month and the chances of him leaving AESSEAL New York Stadium will increase if the 25-year-old impresses at the tournament in Egypt.
Tilt, aged 27, rose from non-league football to make his name at Bloomfield Road in the last two League One seasons.
"He is somebody who was mentioned to us two years ago," said Richie Barker, assistant manager of the Millers who have just dropped down to the third tier.
"He is definitely one of the best and most athletic defenders in the division. Along with six or eight other defenders, he is on our list of players up and down the country who we believe could come in and help us if we lost players."
The Seasiders have just exercised their option to extend Tilt's contract by 12 months and will be demanding a fee for his services.
Last term, Ipswich Town and Glasgow Rangers were among the sides to show interest during the January transfer window.
Ajayi, a Championship ever-present in 2018/19, is under contract for another year with Rotherham who say they will cash in on one of their top players only if the price is right.
"We are not necessarily planning for Semi to go but we must have an eye on who's available in terms of trying to replace him if ever he does move on," Barker said.
"At the moment, we've had no eyewatering bids for him. The football club is in a really good place. We don't need to be selling assets that we've worked extremely hard to create. We certainly don't need to be selling them cheaply."
On the subject of 6ft 3in Tilt, he added: "Have any major conversations taken place? Not that I know of? Is he on our list of players we could be interested in? We wouldn't be doing our jobs properly if he wasn't."
Walsall-born Tilt played National League football with Forest Green and Wrexham before Blackpool signed him on a free transfer in June 2017.
He has made 79 league starts for the Seasiders, scoring five goals.
This article first appeared in the Advertiser
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