Rotherham boss Paul Warne expects Joe Newell to be a key part of his plans next season amid reported interest in the midfielder.
Newell, who Warne described as having “pockets of excellence with smaller pockets of mediocrity”, has appeared on the radar of a Championship club in recent weeks, though no formal bid has been lodged.
Warne wants to keep the 24-year-old at the club, barring an offer that is too good to turn down, but has warned Newell to raise his game.
The former Peterborough man perhaps underwhelmed more than most last season as the Millers were left wanting more from arguably their most talented player.
Warne said: “I do expect to prepare a squad and a team with Joe in it. But if someone comes in and offers stupid money … you know what it’s like.
“He will be a key player if he has the pre-season I want him to have. If he doesn’t, he won’t be.
“If he comes back and really gets the bit between his teeth, really wants to play and dedicate his life to what we’re trying to achieve here, he’ll be one of the first names on the teamsheet.
“He’s a good kid. If we could just get another five or 10 per cent out of him, he could be virtually unplayable. That’s what we will try to do over the summer.”
Newell, who is entering the final year of his contract at New York Stadium, scored twice in 35 appearances last term, adding only two assists.