Rotherham United boss Paul Warne anticipates tough summer of recruitment ahead

ROTHERHAM UNITED manager Paul Warne is bracing himself for his toughest close season yet in terms of recruitment and expects a ‘massive turnaround’ of players.

The Millers claimed a third instant promotion back to the Championship under Warne earlier this month and attention has now turned to their forthcoming business in the summer window.

The major issue revolves around the future of Michael Smith, who is out of contract in June and while the Millers are desperate for him to sign a new deal, Warne accepts that his representatives are likely to see what is out there in terms of rival offers before the player makes his final decision.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The club are also in talks regarding new deals for Michael Ihiekwe and Jamie Lindsay.

Rotherham United are mhoping star forward Michael Smith signs another deal with the club Picture Bruce Rollinson

The club have activated a one-year option on the deals of Chiedozie Ogbene and Viktor Johansson, among others, but Freddie Ladapo, Angus MacDonald, Joe Mattock and Mickel Miller are among players to leave the club.

“I think it is going to be a massive turnaround of 10, 11 or 12 players,” said Warne. “The team has got older, every team does get older. Contracts are near the end and I do think it’s a bit of a summer of change.

“It is a lot to ask of our recruitment team, who work really hard as do the coaching staff to try and help them.

“It does feel like we need a good summer to give ourselves a good start and chance next season. Because history suggests that if it isn’t, it’s a long way back.”

Rotherham United manager Paul Warne Picture: Steven Paston/PA

Warne admits that breaking the cycle by retaining their second-tier status in 2022-23 will be teak-tough.

He added: “The gap is big and that is why we need to keep our best players. If we go up and lose three or four players, you cannot go up with a weaker side. We need to add players who can compete and replace the players we have got and not support.”