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Paul Warne provides significant Rotherham transfer news

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Rotherham United could reportedly keep both Semi Ajayi and Michael Smith ahead of their return to League One. 

The Millers narrowly missed out on Championship survival last season, finishing four points from safety in 22nd.

Midfielder Will Vaulks has already departed the New York Stadium for a club record fee that could rise to £3.5 million.

Quoted by the Star, Rotherham boss Paul Warne has said that the club had not received bids for either Smith or Ajayi.

He said: “No one has come in with anything of great significance so far. It would have to be a substantial bid for either to go. Neither have said they want to go.

“If there are substantial bids and we accept them, we do have replacements in line. If Smithy starts the season playing as well as he did last year and also scores a few goals, it could be that a bid comes in for him in January.”

“Semi [Ajayi] is essential to us. If I lose Semi, I lose a centre-half, a midfielder, a right-back, someone could can play in a back three.”

Warne added that he would not stop a player from leaving should the right offer come in.

He said: “I know I’m blowing our own horn, but here is a good place to be, a good place to play. The lads like being here. They’re not pushing down the door to get out.

“However, if an offer comes in that is more than fair and is going to help the player’s life, we won’t stand in their way.”

Verdict

If the Millers can keep both Smith and Ajayi this summer it will be huge for their chances of bouncing straight back up next season.

Smith finished as Rotherham’s top scorer, finding the net eight times and providing four assists, and was their second highest rated player, according to Whoscored.

Ajayi was integral to Warne’s side last season. The 25-year-old featured in all 46 Championship games for the Millers and provided some vital versatility, playing regularly as both a centre-back and a central midfielder.

When utilised in midfield, the Nigerian posed a real goal threat, scoring seven goals in 22 appearances and finishing the season as the joint second top goalscorer.

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