Paul Warne makes an admission on Chiedozie Ogbene's future at Rotherham United

ROTHERHAM UNITED manager Paul Warne has acknowledged that the stellar international rise of Chiedozie Ogbene is likely to attract renewed interest from rival clubs in the new year - but he remains confident that the Millers will keep hold of the winger and other leading players in January.

DELIGHT: Chiedozie Ogbene celebrates after scoring for Ireland. Picture: PA Wire.

Ogbene marked his fifth senior appearance for the Republic of Ireland with a second goal to cap an excellent display in Sunday's 3-0 final World Cup qualifying victory in Luxembourg - having impressed in the game against Portugal three days earlier.

The 24-year-old's current Millers' deal runs out in June, but the club have an option in their favour to trigger an additional 12 months.

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Warne commented: "We have got an option on Chieo. I have not activated it yet and don't need to.

"I'd rather sit down with Chieo when the time is right and try and get him on an extended deal.

"However, I have to be realistic. Luckily, there are no internationals until March, but the more games he has against Europe's greatest and more performances, the more awareness other people have on him and the more difficult it will be to keep him.

"I am not naive to sit here and think we can offer him a deal which will water his eyes and no-one else can compete with that. But we will still have the conversations and try and sell him the dream. However I am aware there will be interest in Chieo.

"But I cannot see us, with any of our players, selling players in January unless the money is ridiculous. The chairman has never said we'd have to sell anyone.

"Smudge (Michael Smith) is in the last year of his contract, but we did not sell him and wanted to keep him to get what we could out of him.

"Of course, I'd like to sign Chieo on a five-year deal, why wouldn't I. But realistically, if he takes Portugal on, it makes it more difficult."

Warne reports a clean bill of health, fitness wise, ahead of Saturday's League One home game with Cambridge United, aside from Angus MacDonald.

Joe Mattock and Jamie Lindsay are among those available for selection.

One player who will definitely miss the game is top-scorer Michael Smith, who is suspended.