Testimonial won't influence Millwall midfielder's contract decision

JIMMY Abdou won’t let the fact that he is a season away from securing a testimonial influence his decision over whether to sign a new deal with the club.

Abdou has spent nine seasons with Millwall and is out of contract at the end of this month.

Former Plymouth midfielder Abdou, who will be 33 in July, hasn’t taken up the new terms Millwall have offered him, and he has the option of talking to other clubs.

Millwall return to pre-season training next Monday, but Abdou wouldn’t have featured anyway as he is on an extended break following his international involvement with Comoros after he played a key role in the Lions winning promotion in May.

Abdou’s decision to wait before either committing his immediate future to Millwall or moving elsewhere is based more on football considerations than financial reasons.

Millwall have three contracted midfielders in Shaun Williams, Calum Butcher and Ben Thompson, and are close to a deal for George Saville as well as retaining an interest in Southend's Ryan Leonard.

“Nothing has changed with Jimmy, he is a free agent and can speak to other clubs,” Millwall boss Neil Harris said. “The big thing for Jimmy is that he wants to play.

“You can’t just rely on someone to be happy. Jimmy’s not getting any younger. We’re really relaxed with it, and Jimmy has earned the right under me and at this football club to take his time and make the right decision for him.

“I’ve been in that situation myself. When you get to your golden years it doesn’t become about money, it’s about football and knowing you’re not going to go on forever, you want to achieve more.

“It’s one day at a time. What we also have to remember is Jimmy played in the play-offs and was then on international duty with Comoros for two weeks.

“He’s trying to get some family time at the moment. Jimmy, whether he is signing with us or with Barcelona, wouldn’t be in training next week anyway. The same with Shane Ferguson, they need time to recover and recuperate and have family time away from the club.

“A testimonial isn’t on Jimmy’s mind at the moment. He is a football man and just wants to play regularly.”

Meanwhile, Harris is unsure if Fred Onyedinma will be at the training ground on Calmont Road at the start of next week, but expects the situation to become clearer on Friday.

Harris said the club have made 20-year-old Onyedinma an “extremely good offer”.

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly