The prospect of Rotherham United hanging on to Tom Adeyemi moved a step closer as manager Paul Warne revealed there is a genuine possibility the goalscoring midfielder will commit his future to the club.
Adeyemi has bagged six goals in 27 appearances during his loan spell as the Millers have slid to relegation to League One and is expected to attract interest from other Championship sides.
But the 25-year-old, out of contract with parent club Cardiff City in the summer, hasn’t closed the door on remaining at New York Stadium.
“It would be nice if I could keep Tom. I’m a realist. I know the situation he’s in,” said Warne who accepts Rotherham would be likely to lose out if a second-tier outfit comes calling.
“But I think we would have a good chance to keep him. He wants to play here because he likes it here and he’s doing well here.”
The pair plan to meet at the end of the season early next month to discuss the situation.
Adeyemi was on target again in yesterday’s clash against Reading, putting the Millers in front at the Madejski Stadium before the promotion-chasing Royals fought back to win 2-1.
“I spoke to Tom jokingly and said if he keeps scoring it’s going to add to his value,” Warne said. “I told him £50 a week!
“Building in the summer is crucial, getting the players in we want and having that spirit that I think we’ve got at the moment in the dressing room.”
Winger Jon Taylor underlined Adeyemi’s worth the the Millers, saying: “We know if we get the ball out wide, Tom will always be running into the box to get a goal.”
Right-back Darnell Fisher was substituted in the second half in Berkshire after feeling his calf but should be fit for Saturday’s home clash with Ipswich Town.
“I had to take Darnell off because his calf was tightening up,” Warne said. “It was just a precuation. He’s got a history of calves. There are no issues with anyone else.”
Warne has been pleased with his side’s form since he took the boss’s job permanently on April 5 after four months in caretaker charge.
“The last three games, we’ve been excellent,” he said. “We didn’t deserve to lose at Wigan (3-2 defeat), we could have won at home to Birmingham (1-1 draw) - we were the better team - and we went toe to toe with Reading.
“That side I had out there at Reading, potentially 90 per cent of it will be here next season. It’s been a disappointing season, but there are shoots of optimism.
“You can see the character of players like (Will) Vaulks, (Richie) Smallwood, (Danny) Ward and (Semi) Ajayi. I thought (Richard) O’Donnell looked good. He was pretty accomplished. When I put the subs on, (Joe) Newell did well.”
Warne and goalkeeping coach Mike Pollitt will be at the New York Club Shop from 1.30pm on Thursday for a ‘meet and greet’ session with supporters.