Millwall boss: McLaughlin 'best right-back' last year

MILLWALL would be signing the best right-back in League One last season if they complete a deal for Conor McLaughlin, according to Neil Harris.

McLaughlin is out of contract after five years at Fleetwood Town and has spoken to Millwall about a move to south London where he would get the chance to play Championship football after the Cod Army missed out in the play-offs last season.

McLaughlin, 25, was named in the League One team of the season for 2016-17 – alongside another Millwall recruit this summer, left-sided defender James Meredith, and Lee Gregory.

McLaughlin is a Northern Ireland international team-mate of Lions winger Shane Ferguson. The pair started the first game of Euro 2016 against Poland in France.

Former Preston defender McLaughlin was offered a new deal earlier in June but that was withdrawn after the defender made it clear he wanted to play Championship football.

And Fleetwood boss Uwe Rosler recently admitted McLaughlin "totally deserves this opportunity on the back of his outstanding performances over time for our football club".

McLaughlin played in Northern Ireland's 1-0 World Cup qualifier win over Azerbaijan on June 10, and is currently on his honeymoon.

Millwall expect to confirm the deal after he returns.

"We spoke to Conor's representative," Harris said. "Conor has shown a real interest to want to come and we certainly need competition in the right-back position.

"What I will say is Conor was the best right-back in the division last year, in my opinion.

"If we have an opportunity to bring in that calibre of player to compete with Mahlon [Romeo], with probably losing Shaun Cummings, he's the type of player who is at a good age and the type that we are looking for."

Meanwhile, Harris said Millwall would move on to the next target if they can't agree a fee with Reading for centre-back Jake Cooper. "We've told Reading we want to sign him, we've made it clear.

"He's another player who was outstanding last year, he's also a good age and knows what we're about.

"We want to have a discussion with Reading on it. If he's not available then I think we're a centre-back short so we would have to look elsewhere."

Image: Action Plus

John Kelly