Rotherham United manager Paul Warne has warned that transfer activity will be limited this month because are bosses are “reluctant” to let players leave.

The Championship strugglers are in need of January reinforcements as they currently sit 23rd in the table, three points from safety with games in hand.

However, Warne has struck a downbeat note when talking about the prospect of getting deals done this month.

Covid-19 is playing a massive role, not least in stretching squads, as the Millers know full well having experienced an outbreak themselves in December.

But it has also compressed the fixture list and placed extra demands on clubs, who require more players to be involved, not least as injuries pile up as a consequence.

Add all that to the financial impact of the virus on football, and Warne’s gloomy assessment is entirely understandable.

He told the Yorkshire Post: “I just think because of the multitude of games, managers are more reluctant to let some of their players on the periphery go because you’re only ever one calf or hamstring strain away (from being short).

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“If you get players who aren’t used to training with you, will they be up to speed, will they be physically ready?

“The summer window’s great because you get a large period of time to work with them; this window you need people who can come in and play.

“The fixtures, Covid, the way of the world at the moment and finances play a massive part.”

Warne has already expressed doubt about whether the EFL will be able to complete all its fixtures by the end of the season.

Rotherham will face a particularly demanding fixture list having had three matches called off in recent weeks as a result of the virus and weather.

No side in the Championship has played as few as their 20 matches, after postponements against Derby County and Middlesbrough were followed by snow preventing their home fixture against Cardiff City from taking place last weekend.

Two of those matches have been rescheduled for what is shaping up to be a busy February, with the Rams returning to the New York Stadium on February 2 before the Bluebirds do likewise seven days later.

Before all that there is the matter of the FA Cup, with Rotherham heading to Premier League side Everton on Saturday in the third round.