Rotherham United manager issues hands-off warning on Bristol City’s summer transfer target

If Bristol City want another striker they’ll have to blow Rotherham United away with a good offer.  (Photo by Jacques Feeney/Getty Images)If Bristol City want another striker they’ll have to blow Rotherham United away with a good offer.  (Photo by Jacques Feeney/Getty Images)
If Bristol City want another striker they’ll have to blow Rotherham United away with a good offer. (Photo by Jacques Feeney/Getty Images)
A striker was sought after in the summer window but City will have to get the cheque book out in January

Rotherham United manager Paul Warne says the club do not envisage selling Bristol City target Michael Smith next month.

The 30-year-old was linked with a move to Ashton Gate earlier this season along with Severnside rivals Cardiff City but a move failed to materialise.

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Smith has excelled for the Millers this season, scoring 14 goals in 22 appearances this season, which places him as the second highest scorer in the division.

Currently leading the way in League One on the virtue of goal difference having been tied with three teams, the Yorkshire side will be keen to keep their star man as they seek an immediate return to the Championship.

”I do not think there is any appetite from the owner to cash in; he wants promotion and you would not sell your best players if that is what you want,” said Warne to sister outlet The Yorkshire Post.

“I am not saying this as a warning, but I have no intention to sell. If someone phoned up and said, ‘I’ve got x million for Smudge’, I’d say, ‘Great, but we could earn this from going up and your bid is not enough’.

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“I cannot see anyone leaving unless it is lunacy money in this [January] window because I cannot spend it. If you give me £2million, thanks – but what am I going to do with it? I’ve got to try and get a player under our wage structure who is as good as him. I have got no chance.

“I honestly do not think we will sell anyone.”

The six foot three striker has been at the New York Stadium since 2018 and is into his last year of the original contract that he signed.

City aren’t able to offer him a deal in January but depending on the situation, the Robins could wait until the end of the season and then make a move.

“If I get to April time and we look like we have a real chance of going up, I probably have a better chance of getting Smudge to stay [and sign a new deal]. That is my best sales pitch; he could have the security now but I assume his agent wants to see how they go.”

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Bristol City themselves have four first-team players out of contract at the end of the season, including striker Chris Martin. Smith is three years younger than the Scotsman and could be seen as a replacement, should a deal not be agreed.

Antoine Semenyo, Andi Weimann and Nahki Wells are City’s other attacking options.

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