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McCarthy won’t hesitate to raid relegated clubs – and Rotherham’s Danny Ward could be a target

PUBLISHED: 10:49 21 April 2017 | UPDATED: 13:54 21 April 2017

Rotherham United's Danny Ward (left) battles for possession of the ball with Brighton and Hove Albion's Lewis Dunk.

Rotherham United's Danny Ward (left) battles for possession of the ball with Brighton and Hove Albion's Lewis Dunk.

PA Archive/PA Images

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says he will not hesitate to raid relegated clubs for players again this summer – and has not ruled out a move for Rotherham United striker Danny Ward.

Rotherham's Danny Ward (red) has scored 11 goals for rock-bottom Rotherham this season. Photo: Focus Images Rotherham's Danny Ward (red) has scored 11 goals for rock-bottom Rotherham this season. Photo: Focus Images

The Blues boss, always working on a shoestring budget, has often signed players from teams that fail to beat the drop. Cole Skuse, Paul Anderson and Dean Gerken all arrived from Bristol City after the Robins went down to League One, while Jordan Spence was part of the MK Dons team that slipped back into the third-tier last season.

With Easter weekend wins against Burton and Newcastle ensuring McCarthy can start planning for a 16th successive season in the second-tier, Town face rock-bottom and already-relegated Rotherham in a dead rubber at The New York Stadium tomorrow afternoon (3pm ko).

The Millers may have just 18 points to their name following a torrid season, but striker Ward has scored 12 goals and caught the eye in a struggling team. It’s understood that Town tried to sign him in January and are likely to try again this summer.

“Only if an offer comes in near our valuation will we consider selling him,” Millers boss Paul Warne told the Sheffield Star. “The chairman (Tony Stewart) said that to me, so if someone comes in with a cheeky offer we will just keep him for the season and get as many goals out of him as we can.”

Stewart has said that Rotherham rejected more than £2m for Ward in the January transfer window.

“Danny hasn’t got worse since January so I would have thought his value is around the figure of what the chairman wanted before,” added Warne. “I don’t think he has devalued and the chairman says we don’t need to sell.”

McCarthy refused to be drawn on Ward specifically, but did say: “Cole Skuse has been a big success, while we also took Paul Anderson and Dean Gerken from them that year and they also were successes for us. I’ve no problem with taking players out of teams that have got relegated.”

Another player the Blues have been linked with is Wigan midfielder Ryan Tunnicliffe, who was formerly on loan at Portman Road, with Blackburn, Nottingham Forest, Birmingham, Burton, Bristol City and QPR also still scrapping for safety.

McCarthy has said admitted that there could be several player exits this summer and that his plan is to stay and try to build a ‘new look’ team that can once again challenge for the play-off places.

In-form keeper Bartosz Bialkowski is likely to be coveted, while captain Luke Chambers and fellow senior defender Christophe Berra are nearing the end of their contracts. Jonathan Douglas, Leon Best and Giles Coke have all been told they will be let go, while the futures of Steven Taylor, Jordan Spence and Paul Digby are up in the air.

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