Rotherham United boss Paul Warne on avoiding a transfer 'curveball'

ROTHERHAM UNITED manager Paul Warne has expressed his relief after avoiding a late transfer ‘curveball’ to ensure that his leading players still remained at the club at the close of play on deadline day.

The club's sole business saw Will Grigg head to the AESSEAL New York Stadium on a season-long loan from Sunderland and defender Curtis Tilt join Wigan Athletic in an identical arrangement, while the likes of Michael Smith, Chiedozie Ogbene, Ben Wiles, Jamie Lindsay and Freddie Ladapo stayed put - and avoided serious interest as the hours ticked down until 11pm on August 31.

The Millers did field some interest in certain unnamed players on the day before the deadline, but those offers were viewed as speculative, with deadline day passing off pretty quietly by contrast.

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It leaves Warne able to reflect upon a sound summer window's work which has seen just one major player in Matt Crooks depart to Middlesbrough - when it was feared at the end of last season that several would depart in the wake of relegation.

Paul Warne.

Warne, whose Millers side welcome Fleetwood Town on their return to league business on Saturday, said: “It starts when you come back in pre season and from day one, you are always sensing your players and thinking: ‘is he a bit off or alright with the lads’ and ‘is there something going on behind the scenes which I don’t know about’ and is there a big offer coming in for any of my players that is going to be difficult to turn down..

“It is a constant thorn and obviously going into the last day of the transfer window, there is often a curveball and this year, we didn’t really have one.

“We did the day before when we had offers for a couple of our players. But it was very speculative and someone just randomly phoned up and said: ‘I’ll have this player for this amount of money’ and we said no and you still expected something (might) happen with one of our strikers or Chieo (Chiedozie Ogbene) or whatever the case may be.

“But if I am honest, after a certain part of the day on the last day, if something was to have happened, it would have had to be a phenomenal amount of money.

“I kept the chairman up to date with everything and once it got to a certain part of the day, we came to the conclusion that anything could happen now and anyone can phone up, but it was just too late in the day.

“Of all the windows I have been involved in, this was one of the quietest in a way. The thought of what could go wrong was greater than the actual ‘what did go wrong’ which was less.

“We had no intention of letting any of our major assets go (on deadline day). But it would be naive to think that there might not be one offer which could blow everything out of the water. But that was not the case.

“We have had a lot of interest in a lot of our players and offers (before). But fortunately, they were knocked back and we go into a season and know what we have got and there isn’t a curveball coming up until at least January, which is nice."