Rotherham United manager Paul Warne has revealed that there was no chance of Freddie Ladapo joining up with Derby County in January, however, he cannot rule out a summer transfer for the 28-year-old.
The forward was initially linked with the Rams via journalist Tom Barclay’s tweet on transfer deadline day.
A deal never came to fruition, but it was later made known that there had been a genuine enquiry from Derby regarding Ladapo’s services.
Appearing as a second half substitute, Romford-born Ladapo then featured against Wayne Rooney’s men just three days later as the Millers recorded a 3-0 victory.
Warne voiced his opinion on the matter, stating it would have been “football suicide” had they let him go, as per The Star.
“They obviously knew I had no appetite for it,” explained the Rotherham boss. “Why would I let one of my strikers go to a team around us in the table unless I could replace Freddie with a much better striker, that would be football suicide.
“Me and Freddie get on great, I did have a good chat with him, we didn’t talk about it but it wasn’t like it was the elephant in the room.
The 47-year-old added: “Even his agent didn’t think I would allow it to happen.
“It will be something we revisit in the summer. If Derby come knocking and it is something Freddie wants to do, it is not something I want to do.”
Ladapo has made 25 appearances for the South Yorkshire outfit this season, scoring five times and registering one assist.
The Rams’ target enjoyed a more prolific season during the Millers’ latest promotion campaign, notching 17 goals and two assists throughout his 39 appearances.
With the contracts of both Colin Kazim-Richards and Martyn Waghorn set to expire in the summer, revisiting a relatively cheap deal for Ladapo may be a smart piece of business for Derby to make once the transfer window reopens.