Rotherham United tell Ben Purrington he can leave for right price as they hope for centre-half U-turn

Rotherham United tell Ben Purrington he can leave for right price as they hope for centre-half U-turn

By Paul Davis | 29/06/2019

Rotherham United tell Ben Purrington he can leave for right price as they hope for centre-half U-turn
Ben Purrington

ROTHERHAM United are prepared to sell defender Ben Purrington, boss Paul Warne has confirmed.

More than one club have expressed interest in the 23-year-old who has never managed to hold down a regular spot at AESSEAL New York Stadium after a £300,000 switch from Plymouth Argyle in January.

The left-back spent the second half of last season on loan at Charlton Athletic, helping them win promotion to the Championship, and the Addicks are believed to be the player's favoured destination.

"There are a couple of clubs in for Ben," Warne revealed. "I had a chat with him on the first day of pre-season training on Thursday.

"I'm not going to force him out. I like him; I've never not liked him. It's just that in my mind Joe Mattock has just been a little bit ahead of him.

"If something comes in for Ben that he wants and the club want then I won't stand in his way."

The Millers are determined to recoup a sizeable chunk of the money they paid to Argyle and won't do business unless a decent six-figure fee is involved.

Warne has set no time-frame on a potential sale and will hold out for the right offer.

"Ben was in on Thursday and Friday and I expect to see him in on Monday," the manager said. "He might be here at the start of the season.

"But I do know clubs are preparing bids so it's 'Watch this space' with him really."

Rotherham have already made four summer signings, bringing in strikers Freddie Ladapo and Carlton Morris, midfielder Shaun MacDonald and winger Julien Lamy, and there could be three more arrivals next week before their training camp in Germany.

They are keen to strengthen their defensive options before they kick off their League One campaign in August and have submitted a substantial bid for a centre-half.

The Millers would prefer to simply add him to their existing complement of central defenders but are aware they may have to replace Semi Ajayi if another club meets their valuation of the Nigerian international.

Warne refused to name the target but Blackpool's Curtis Tilt is known to be on their wanted list.

"This player is still at his club so I can't say who it is because it's not fair on the player," the manager said.

Curtis Tilt

"We did a agree a fee with his club and the club changed their stance and now want to keep him. I hope it's not dead. I'd like to think it isn't.

"Our offer was more than generous. We won't move on that. Whether things change for them and they sign someone and are happy to let him go, we'll have to see. Right now, I honestly don't know which way it's going to go."

Tilt, who is big, powerful and quick, came through non-league to star for the Seasiders in the third tier and attracted Championship offers last term.

"Curtis is a defender I really like," Warne admitted. "I spoke to Hursty (former Ipswich Town boss Paul) last year when he offered big with Ipswich for him. That deal fell through.

"You have to consider that Semi might go. I do like centre-halves with pace, How can you not like Curtis? He was probably one of the best defenders in League One last season."