Rotherham United: Millers stay on the Bradshaw trail

Tom Bradshaw

Tom Bradshaw

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Rotherham United are refusing to be deterred in their pursuit of Walsall hot-shot Tom Bradshaw by competition from other clubs.

The Millers are believed to have made a club-record bid for the 23-year-old hitman who has bagged 20 goals in each of his two seasons with the Saddlers.

Tony Stewart and Alan Stubbs

Tony Stewart and Alan Stubbs

They know other Championship teams are interested in one of the most coveted talents in League One, but, amid reports of an unnamed side joining the race late, Rotherham chairman Tony Stewart is keeping a cool head.

“When you get into negotiations with agents, with players, you’re not the only club in town,” Stewart said.

“There are other clubs there. It’s protracted negotiations. It’s two, three times you’re seeing the agent, the player, and it does take time.

“But good players do take longer and cost a little bit more. What we do know is that, in the final analysis, by taking our time, with good preparation, you feel more confident that the possibility of getting a better player is there.”

Barnsley have already submitted offers for Bradshaw, and Preston, Nottingham Forest, Reading and Birmingham are known admirers of the Welsh international.

As well as the offer for Bradshaw, the Millers are also thought to have made a substantial bid for centre-forward Lee Gregory, rated by Millwall at around £2 million.

Their highest fee in the past is around £400,000, which they paid for striker Jonson Clarke-Harris two years ago.

Rotherham are close to landing midfielder Jake Forster-Caskey from Brighton. The 22-year-old has a year left on his contract but is looking to kick-start his career away from the Amex Stadium after falling out of favour under Chris Hughton. He played 34 times in the Seagulls’ 2013/14 Championship play-off season and was on loan last season at MK Dons.

Meanwhile, Millers fans are expected to have their first glimpse of new signing Anthony Forde and a number of trialists today when the club open their pre-season campaign with a match against Parkgate FC at Roundwood (kick-off noon).

Winger Forde, 22, has impressed in pre-season training since moving to South Yorkshire from Walsall.

“The two most important things for me about this game are fitness and no injuries,” said manager Alan Stubbs who tomorrow takes his squad to Poland for a week. “For the first few games, that will be the most important thing.

“Obviously, we would like to win every game that we play and it’s important to a certain extent to have the players thinking that way. But just ahead of that will be the players coming through the games unscathed and getting what we need from a fitness point of view.

“I may play two different systems on Saturday, one first half and one second half.”

The new boss plans individual talks with most of his players while they are in Poland and says the trip will be a good bonding exercise.

“The players get on great anyway. You can see that straightaway,” he said. “In terms of them getting to know me and my staff and me getting to know them, that will be important. We will start to do more tactical work over there and work on how I am looking for the team to start to play.”

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