Rotherham boss Paul Warne accepts that Joe Newell’s current run of form could see him targeted by bigger clubs in the summer.
Newell is out of contract at the end of the season, though the Millers have an option to extend by a year meaning they will receive a fee if they sell him, and negotiations over a new deal are currently under way.
The midfielder has been a key figure over the last couple of months as Warne’s side have surged up from mid-table to play-off certainties, heightening the boss’ desire to get Newell tied down to a longer deal.
Warne said: “Obviously, I’d like it to happen sooner rather than later. I think he does enjoy it here.
“He’s been here for while and at the moment he’s playing the best football of his career. Why would he want to change?
1-0 down in stoppage time, and a six-match winning run coming to an end… but @OfficialRUFC had it covered! ?
— EFL (@EFL) February 26, 2018
“I’m also aware that if he keeps playing at the level that he is, then other people will come knocking, That’s just the nature of football.”
Newell himself has spoken positively about agreeing a longer stay and his agent has been to the club to begin negotiations.
“His agent came up for talks,” the boss added. “I’ve spoken to the player and explained the situation to him.
“The meeting with the agent wasn’t a dead conversation where he threw water at the chief exec. It was the opposite. It was a pretty amicable conversation.
“I’d rather he signed a longer-term contract but if we can’t arrange something that suits both parties then I can just take out the option on him.
“Unless someone comes and buys him off me in the summer, he’ll be my player going forward.”