Rotherham United: Millers boss Alan Stubbs tips new striker arrival amid deadline pandemonium

Lee Gregory
Lee Gregory

Boss Alan Stubbs predicts the countdown to the end of the transfer window will be “pandemonium” as his bid to bring a new striker to Rotherham United goes down to the wire.

The Millers manager expects business to really hot up after this Saturday’s round of matches, with the 11pm deadline on Wednesday fast approaching.

“I’m very hopeful of having a new striker in by Wednesday night,” he said. “It’s common knowledge that we’ve been in for a few strikers, but for whatever reason - whether it’s been price or unrealistic discussions - it hasn’t happened. We have been trying.

“Managers will focus on Saturday’s games and then it will be pandemonium for four days.”

Rotherham had a £1.4 million bid for Lee Gregory turned down by Millwall and refused to up their £500,000 offer to Walsall for Tom Bradshaw who subsequently signed for Barnsley - the Millers’ Championship opponents at Oakwell this weekend.

Stubbs has ruled out any interest in Newcastle United hitman Adam Armstrong, who is available on loan, although he was less adamant when asked if the prospects of a Gregory deal were completely dead.

Alan Stubbs

Alan Stubbs

“I think we have moved on,” he said. But he added: “You’re going to have four days when you’re going to have lots of discussions, lots of phone calls, where you thought something was dead and it’s revived, whether it’s through the parent club, through us, through the agent, through the player.

“It will be a really busy period. One call will surprise you in that it’s to say ‘he’s available’ and another call will be disappointing in that a player is not available. That’s the way it’s going to be. It’s going to be a rollercoaster towards the close of the window.

The boss, who has midfielder Joe Newell available after ankle surgery for the South Yorkshire derby, says his budget will allow him to bring in “two or three” more players but that any arrivals after that would depend on some of his squad leaving.

“We will be allowing one or two to seek first-team football elsewhere,” he said. “I want to be honest with the players. I don’t want to kid them on and say ‘Yeah, you’re in my plans’ and then they don’t kick a ball for six months.

Adam Armstrong

Adam Armstrong

“There are a couple who fall into that category right now. It wouldn’t be right for me to individually name names. I think everything will become clear as we move closer to the deadline.”

Centre-half Aimen Belaid is fit again after groin trouble and could be one of the players the Millers are prepared to let go.

Stubbs has made 11 signings since his June appointment as he rebuilds the Millers sqaud, but has waited all summer to land one of his preferred centre-forward options.

“It has to be the right person,” he said. “When you’re spending money, you want the player to blend in with what we’re trying to instil here.

“He has to be the right age, it has to be a player who has potential, it has to be a player who has value. I’m hopeful we get a striker who fits that criteria across the line.”

The Star believes that 19-year-old West Ham centre-half Reece Burke is a Rotherham loan target.

“He could be,” said Stubbs. “He’s at another club. I’m not going to speak about players at other clubs. It’s wrong. He’s a good player. He’s got a good future ahead of him. He’s someone I’m aware of.”

Captain Lee Frecklington, who limped out of the opening-day clash against Wolves with a calf problem, has spent some of this week at St George’s Park, the national football centre, and may be involved against the Reds.

“He’s doing well,” the manager confirmed. “He’s touch and go for the weekend. He’s working really hard. He’s been at St George’s for a few days doing a bit of a rehab programme with them. He’s been going through a lot of tests to try to pin down why he’s had a lot of calf injuries.”

New midfield man Tom Adeyemi misses out at Barnsley with a minor thigh complaint, but utility player Greg Halford is fit again after a groin strain.

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