THE long-running Fred Onyedinma contract saga is set for a positive conclusion when the Millwall attacker formally signs a new deal this week.
Onyedinma verbally agreed a new contract with Millwall on Friday after months of speculation that he would leave the club following the expiry of his previous deal.
Lions boss Neil Harris revealed Onyedinma phoned him last week to thank the club for their “patience” after talks had dragged on all summer.
Twenty-year-old Onyedinma revealed after May’s League One play-off final win over Bradford that he had made his mind up on his future.
Onyedinma started pre-season training with Millwall two weeks ago, and Harris was always confident both parties would come to a new agreement.
Onyedinma will join the rest of the squad when they fly out to Portugal on Thursday for a six-day training camp.
“Fred has agreed a new long-term contract with us,” Harris said. “It was all agreed [Friday] and he will put pen to paper Monday.
“It’s great news for the club. The boy is really happy. He called me [Friday] evening and said how pleased he was, thanked us for our patience a little bit at times.
“Since June 26 or even before that Fred has been committed to signing. We just had to get it right on a few little clauses.
“But it’s done now, the agent has agreed, the player has agreed and we have given our word as a club.
“He just has to sign the paperwork and it’s great to have him back on board again.”
Onyedinma was set to be excluded from Millwall’s first pre-season fixture last Saturday against Dartford, but started up front with Steve Morison after Friday’s successful talks.
Harris has a number of forward options ahead of the Championship season, with Tom Elliott having joined this summer to add competition to an attack that also includes Aiden O’Brien and Lee Gregory.
And Harris feels Onyedinma’s speed behind defences gives the team an important dimension.
“What he has is the ability to play on the shoulder, a bit like Lee,” Harris said. “He can run in behind and hurt teams.
“Aiden and Jed [Wallace] can play there but they’re more link players, they play off the front.
“You want that pace option, a different threat, and Fred certainly gives us that.
“He complements all the strikers well. He linked well with Moro and Tom will be the same.
“We also saw his ability in wide areas last year, particularly from December to March when at times he carried our attacking threat and carried the ball from box to box.
“We spoke long and hard over the summer about improving his goal return, his assist return. What he has lacked on that side he has given us in pace and presence and he scares the life out of people.
“You can’t substitute pace in the Championship so we’re really pleased that he has committed to us.”
Image: Millwall FC