Rotherham United boss Paul Warne says in-limbo Curtis Tilt might just need to "knuckle down"

ROTHERHAM United manager Paul Warne admits any deal for the departure of Curtis Tilt has not “materialised the way I anticipated” and the defender could end up staying in South Yorkshire.

Tilt, 30, was recalled from a third loan spell at Wigan Athletic late last week and the clubs have been trying to agree on a transfer fee for his services.

But no such deal has been concluded and the Jamaica international - who was originally on a season-long loan at Rotherham’s League 1 rivals - now faces an uncertain future.

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Warne explained: “Earlier in the week, I was pretty confident that something definitive would have happened by now, whether that be Wigan or another club purchasing him.

Curtis Tilt, while on loan from Rotherham United, celebrates after scoring Wigan Athletic's third goal during the Sky Bet League One match against Fleetwood Town in November. (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

“I thought it would have been done by now but it hasn't.

“I now regard him as my player until I'm told differently and I'll get him ready with the rest of the squad for Saturday. It hasn't materialised the way I anticipated.”

Rotherham host Cheltenham Town on Saturday, eager to get back in action after Tuesday’s home game with Lincoln City was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

Asked how he will manage to keep the former Blackpool defender on board if the deal does completely collapse, Warne said: “It's why you're called a football manager - you have to manage people.

“That part of the job is probably greater than the tactics and getting players to run through brick walls for you.

“I will talk to Curtis. I do talk to Curtis. I've been on the phone to him twice a day at least for the last five days.

“I explain it to him as honestly as I can.

“I don't make every decision at the club, quite obviously.

“I guess the manager of Tottenham sat down with Harry Kane when Kane's move to Manchester City didn't happen. That's how football is sometimes.”

Warne - who says he has had no offers for any of his players in the transfer window - added: “If Curtis stays he, he knows I rate him as a player.

“We'll do everything we can to help him compete with the lads who are doing well.

“I haven't got a magic wand that I can wave and he's like: 'Yeah, I feel amazing, Gaffer.'

“I know he's not going to be fully on board for a bit but he's a professional and I expect him, as a professional athlete, to knuckle down and join in with the group.

“He'll soon be incorporated and welcomed back into the group. In a couple of weeks' time, it might be a distant memory for him.”