It won’t have been unexpected, but that doesn’t that the latest news to emerge surrounding Rotherham United’s talisman, Will Vaulks will have been any easier to hear for fans of the Millers.
The club’s now confirmed relegation to League One was always likely to bring interest in Vaulks, and that already appears to have begun.
Team Talk have reported that Championship promotion winners Norwich City and Sheffield United are rivalling Derby, Cardiff City and Sheffield Wednesday to the potential signing of the 25-year-old.
Given Vaulks’ performances this season, his rumoured departure will come as little surprise.
The midfielder has scored seven times and assisted seven more this season as his side almost defied the odds to avoid an immediate relegation back to League One this season, with Vaulks’ own displays earning him his first senior international caps for Wales during the March international break.
Having played as well as he has this season, it is clear that Vaulks will not be in League One next season, particularly now that some of the names interested him have emerged, with Premier League and top half of the Championship opportunities on offer: a level much more befitting for a player with Vaulks’ reputation.
It seems inevitable therefore, that Rotherham will pay farewell to Vaulks after three years at The New York Stadium, although they will at least be grateful for one tiny bit of business they managed to get in before Vaulks’ departure is confirmed, something which could yet prove invaluable.
Back in March, with the club well in a Championship relegation battle, Rotherham announced that they had taken up an option in Vaulks’ contract with the club, taking his deal at the New York Stadium through to the end of next season.
Had that move not been taken, Vaulks would now be out of contract with the club, and available on a free transfer to any side interested in talking to him.
Now however, Rotherham have guaranteed themselves a fee should they sell Vaulks this summer, and given the number of clubs said to be interested, that could well lead to a bidding war that only serves to increase the amount Rotherham eventually received.
If they are to compete for an immediate return to the Championship for the second time in a row in League One, then Vaulks will surely have to be replaced in the transfer window, and the fee they receive for him would surely help to do that.
There is no doubt that Rotherham would prefer to keep Vaulks, but while that now seems inevitable, they can at least take some consolation from the fact that had it not been for some quick thinking just a couple of months ago, this situation would have been a lot less profitable for them, and a whole lot worse.