NEIL Harris revealed Millwall were offered a loan deal on transfer deadline day – with the player’s wage demands dropping from over £10,000 a week to £4,000 a week in the space of nine hours last Thursday.
Harris said his phone was ringing “every 15 minutes” as the scramble to get deals done reached a frenzy on the last day of the summer transfer window.
Harris brought in goalkeeper David Martin on a free transfer to add to the seven deals the Lions completed before the start of the season.
A video by Bleacher Report documenting behind-the-scenes activities at Sheffield United on deadline day showed Blades boss Chris Wilder attempting to complete five late signings.
Wilder was filmed talking on his mobile to Watford’s Jerome Sinclair, and appeared to have convinced the player to travel north for a medical.
United were also quoted £500,000 by an agent for Fleetwood forward Devante Cole, before the price dropped to £200,000 only to later in the evening rocket to £1.2million, which scuppered any chance of a transfer happening.
In the end, Millwall’s Championship rivals had to settle for just two signings: Clayton Donaldson from Birmingham and Ben Heneghan from Motherwell.
“Anyone looking to do business on deadline day, the conversations Chris was having, the facial expressions, the body language, the agents – that is pretty much it,” Harris said.
“I think there were a few extremes for Chris in there on that day. That’s pretty much the way it is. That’s why we were happy to do our seven permanent signings in June and July. I had great support from my board and from the recruitment department to be able to do that.
“On deadline day my phone was going every 15 minutes, it was phenomenal. We got quoted at one o’clock in the afternoon double figures in wages for a player. By ten that evening it had come down to four thousand pounds a week.
“Those are the extremes you’re working at. When you get things like that there’s something not right.
“That’s up to us to make the good deals. What I think I’ve done over the last two years is bring in stable deals, players that are committed and hungry and with something to prove.
“They’ve come on loan with a view to signing, or are players who have come in to give the boys a lift or fill a gap.
“Nothing materialised on the day. That was down to the right players not being available or else because there were some of the same instances that Chris Wilder had to deal with.”
— B/R Football (@brfootball) September 2, 2017
Image: Millwall FC