NEIL Harris revealed Millwall expect to be closer to learning whether Fred Onyedinma will sign a new contract by the end of this week.
Onyedinma has let his deal run down and is free to talk to other clubs, though Millwall will be entitled to compensation if he leaves as he is under 24 years old.
Millwall have offered Onyedinma “an extremely good contract” but it has remained unsigned as his representatives seek better terms elsewhere.
Onyedinma, 20, added to the uncertainty over the summer when he claimed after the League One play-off final win over Bradford that he had made his mind up about his future.
Given he didn’t confirm that it would be at Millwall, it seemed a hint that his four-year spell as a senior player at the club would come to an end.
That was before talks resumed between the player’s representatives and Millwall, leading to the current impasse with the club unsure whether he will be present for the first day of pre-season training next Monday.
Premier League sides AFC Bournemouth and Watford have been linked with Onyedinma, but Harris said he hasn’t heard of any enquiries for the player.
Harris hasn’t spoken to Onyedinma since earlier this month, when they both agreed his future would be best served by extending his stay with the Lions.
Harris said last season at a supporters’ forum at The Den that the process has been frustrating, expressing his surprise that Onyedinma hadn’t been more involved in talks over his future, instead leaving it to his agent.
Speaking earlier this week, Harris admitted he was unsure whether Onyedinma would be at the training ground on Calmont Road on Monday, but it appears there could be some kind of resolution before this weekend.
“The last conversation I had with Fred was before we both went on holiday, and I said his future lies here,” Harris said.
“Fred told me face-to-face that he wants to stay, he wants a solution to the talks.
“We’ve made an extremely good contract offer to Fred, a really, really good offer. It hasn’t been accepted by his representatives, so Fred continues to be a free agent.
“Ideally we’d love a solution this week, of course we would. It’s not an ideal situation for anybody.
“But talks got to that stage where we made a very good offer and it’s down to Fred’s representatives again to discuss that offer or move their client on.
“What I will say is that not a single club has enquired about Fred over the course of the summer.
“I still couldn’t guarantee that Fred will be in on Monday. That’s the same with some out-of-contract players and players we’re trying to bring in.
“Fred’s agent is fully entitled to try and get him a better deal somewhere else. I treat Fred as if we’re dealing with a free agent.
“Am I surprised it’s gone this far without Fred signing? No. Would I expect to get nearer a solution come Friday afternoon? Yes.”
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