Evans steps aside as Rotherham look to keep key pair

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STEVE EVANS says he would love out-of-contract duo Ben Pringle and Craig Morgan to stay at Rotherham United – and that the pair would be important signings for next season.

The Millers’ chief is taking a back seat with chief executive Paul Douglas now negotiating with the pair and their representatives in an attempt to agree fresh terms.

All smiles for Steve Evans. (Picture: Richard Parkes)

All smiles for Steve Evans. (Picture: Richard Parkes)

Evans said: “He (Douglas) has formalised it all to them, so let those discussions continue.

“I am quite happy for them to continue for a week or two to see where they go.

“I would love Ben and Craig to be a part of it, but at this stage I step out now, so it is down to whether our chief executive can agree terms with those two players. We would love to have them around; hopefully they are.

“Over the season there were some big performances from Craig and Ben. I think they would be important signings.”

Evans says there has already been interest in the transfer-listed duo of Connor Newton and Scott Loach.

The Scot, who also spoke about having to make “tough decisions” in freeing Rob Milsom and Mark Bradley, said: “It’s a disappointing one, but we have had some clubs in League One and League Two on. There have been a number of clubs on the phone showing some interest.”

On the decision regarding ex-England Under-21 player Loach, he added: “He was in the England squad two years before we signed him, he has got everything in terms of pedigree.

“But I have always maintained as a manager you pick a team and sometimes a lot of people in the stadium would disagree with you.

“Adam (Collin) had a little dip and we put Scott in for the early part of the season and we wanted him to grab that opportunity, but he never grabbed it and Adam quickly took his shirt back.”

Barnsley have transfer-listed Milan Lalkovic and James Bailey and freed defenders Martin Cranie and Jean-Yves M’Voto.

Kane Hemmings, Leroy Lita, Nana-Boakye-Yiadom and Rhys Oates have also been freed and Lewin Nyatanga is in dialogue with the club with his deal expiring next month.

Lalkovic only came to the club in the January transfer window, with the former Walsall player brought in by then boss Danny Wilson on an 18-month deal.

But just four and a half months later, the Slovakian, 22, has been told he can leave.

Bailey, 26, has had a mixed season, with his last appearance coming on Easter Monday.