Paul Warne insists it would have been “football suicide” if Rotherham United allowed Freddie Ladapo to join Derby County on Deadline Day.
It was a busy end to the transfer window for Derby, with Wayne Rooney bringing in five new players on Deadline Day.
Teden Mengi, Patrick Roberts, George Edmundson, Beni Baningime and Lee Gregory all joined the Rams on loan, but another player who was said to be on their radar was Freddie Ladapo.
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Ladapo has scored five goals in 22 Championship appearances for Rotherham this season, in the Millers’ bid for survival.
The striker has made only 12 starts for the Millers, though, with Derby reportedly looking to take the 28-year-old on loan on Deadline Day.
Rotherham, though, clearly didn’t want to strengthen their relegation-threatened rivals by letting Ladapo depart for Pride Park.
Speaking to Yorkshire Post, Warne has spoken about the failed transfer. He said: “There has been no conversation. I didn’t get told there was interest in Freddie until after the window was shut. I think it went to the head of recruitment.
“They obviously knew I had no appetite for it, why would I let one of my strikers go to a team around us in the table unless I could replace Freddie with a much better striker, that would be football suicide.
“I think the head of recruitment spoke to (assistant) Richie Barker because I was in a meeting and he said I wouldn’t go for it. I haven’t had a conversation with Freddie about it.
“Me and Freddie get on great, I did have a good chat with him, we didn’t talk about it but it wasn’t like it was the elephant in the room. Even his agent didn’t think I would allow it to happen.
“It will probably be some we revisit in the summer. If Derby come knocking and it is something Freddie wants to do, it is not something I want to do. (But) I have said before with all of my players, once they don’t want to be here, then I am responsible for their lives and happiness.
Rotherham beat Derby by three goals to nil in midweek – a win which sees the Millers sit 22nd in the table, two points off Derby with two games in hand.
When I first saw these rumours, I never thought a deal would get done.
Ladapo hasn’t started an awful amount of games this season, but he has still scored five goals which isn’t bad at all for a newly-promoted Championship side.
For Rotherham to send him out on loan to their rivals would have been so bizarre, and I’m not surprised why they took this stance.