Manager Steve Evans is prepared to bide his time as out-of-contract duo Craig Morgan and Ben Pringle decide their Rotherham United futures.
Evans has revealed he would love the pair to stay at AESSEAL New York Stadium, and says talks have now begun between the players and the club.
“Paul Douglas (chief executive officer) is back in after a few days off ill. Paul’s told me he’s formalised it all to them, so let those discussions now continue,” The Millers manager said.
“I’m quite happy for them to continue for a week or two and see where they go.
“I’d love Ben to be a part of it, I’d love Craig to be a part of it. At this stage, I step out now. It’s down to whether our chief executive can agree terms with those two players. We’d love to have them around. Hopefully they are.”
Skipper and centre-half Morgan and left midfield man Pringle were the only two senior players whose contracts are expiring to whom the Millers made offers, with right-backs Mark Bradley and Richard Brindley, midfielder Rob Milsom, left-back Mat Sadler and goalkeeper Tony Thompson released earlier this week.
Evans believes both have proved their worth in the second tier of English football this season as Rotherham overcame a three-point Football League deduction to finish five points clear of the drop zone.
“I’ve never hidden my admiration for Ben, When I arrived here, he was in the cupboard. No-one knew him,” he said.
“Three years later, he’s now an established, quality Championship player.
“Craig Morgan started the season all right, then he had a sloppy period and he finished it like a true lion. Over the season there were some big performances from Craig and Ben. I think they would be important signings.”
Bradley played his part in two successive Rotherham promotions, but didn’t feature this season as he recovered from knee surgery.
Evans added: “It’s always tough when you look good lads like Mark Bradley and Rob Milsom in the face and you’re saying you’re moving them on. They’re the two that stick in my mind. They’re tough decisions.
“Bradders has fought for 14/15 months to get back and he’s about there now, but we gave him 14/15 months and we can’t just continue to do that. That was hard. He’s such a good professional. I think he would have played a lot of Championship football for us.
“The others were straightforward, but they’re never nice decisions.”
Evans decided to let Brindley leave because he couldn’t guarantee him the starting role the 22-year-old craved.
“Richard is one of these kids who would always knock on the door and want to play in the first team,” he said
“We could respect that. He kept saying he wanted to play first-team football and we didn’t see him as ready to start for us in the Championship.
“Last season we had James Tavernier for us and he was fantastic and this season we found Jack Hunt and he was fantastic for us. When those two guys set that type of benchmark, then it was always going to be difficult for us to pick Richard.
“He also expressed an interest to move back south. Whether that develops, we’ll see. But that was in his head. He’s a great professional.”