Loan ace Tom Adeyemi has revealed for the first time there is a chance he could sign a permanent deal with Rotherham United.
The midfielder, who has hit the net seven times in his season-long stay with the Millers, admits he would prefer to remain in the Championship next year.
But he told The Star that he has loved his time at Rotherham and that their relegation to League One doesn’t mean they’re out of the running for his services when his contract expires shortly at parent club Cardiff City.
Adeyemi, named Millers Player of the Year at the Star Football Awards last night, said after the ceremony at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel in Sheffield: “Like any player, I’ve got ambitions to play at the highest level I possibly can.
“At this stage of my career, that’s probably the Championship. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to be a Championship player next season.
“At the same time, if the opportunity isn’t available, or I feel that Rotherham is a better option to use as a springboard to get back to that level, I’d be happy to stay.
“I’m certainly not closing the door on the possibility of me remaining a Rotherham United player. I certainly wouldn’t rule it out.”
The 6ft 2in 25-year-old says he and manager Paul Warne have already spoken about the possibility of a permanent contract and that the duo will meet again once the campaign draws to a conclusion in early May
“My future is still, even at this late stage, very much up in the air,” he said. “I haven’t had any contact from anyone else.
“Warney’s had a few chats with me and told me the club’s position. From that point of view, I’ll just have to wait and see what the summer brings.
“I’ll sit down with Warney at the end of the season and discuss what we really think going forward.”
While second-tier football is an obvious attraction to him, Adeyemi, who was a fringe player with the Bluebirds and in a previous loan spell with Leeds United, is aware there could be better playing opportunites for him at New York Stadium.
And his relationship with Warne, who stepped into the hot-seat full-time three weeks ago after four months in caretaker charge, adds to the Millers’ appeal.
He has relished playing for the former fitness coach and all of his goals have come in 21 appearances with Warne at the helm, giving him a scoring rate of one every three matches.
“There are a lot of factors to take into consideration,” he said. “It’s been good to play regular football again. That’s important to me.
“I got on great with Warney when he was fitness coach earlier in the season and since then our relationship has gone from strength to strength. I really like him as a guy.
“He’s been a really good manager, as well, in difficult circumstances. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed playing for him and I truly believe he’s going to bring some good times back to Rotherham.”
Adeyemi has been a big hit with fans who would be delighted to see him stay in South Yorkshire.
He will be looking to add to his tally in the Millers’ final away match of the season, against Preston North End on Saturday, and credits his manager for his prolific form.
“I feel like I’ve performed to a decent level. It’s been good that I’ve managed to add goals to my game,” he said.
“Warney’s helped me out by giving me the licence to go and get in the box. Since he became manager, I’ve scored seven in 21 games.
“It shows that in my preferred role as a box-to-box midfielder that I can get a goal.
“With my size, I bring a physical presence. I can break up play and I like to think, as all players do, that I can play a bit too. I think I’m quite an all-round midfielder in how I can impact a game.”