Millwall unlikely to have transfer business completed before start of pre-season

NEIL Harris admits it is “unrealistic” to expect Millwall’s squad will be fully rebuilt for the start of pre-season training on June 25.

Harris has targeted a number of new recruits ahead of the 2019-20 Championship season, which begins the weekend of Friday August 2.

Millwall have already confirmed a free-transfer deal for centre-back Alex Pearce from Derby County, and have bids submitted for a number of players.

Harris would like to wrap up business as quickly as possible, but knows the club needs to be patient to get the players they want.

“I’ve gone to the board and asked for backing. Maybe the last 12 months have been a bit of a warning to us that we need to change,” Harris told Millwall’s iFollow video platform. “Players moving on, out of contract, in contract – that’s the nature of the beast.

“I want to get players in as quick as I can, of course I do, from a manager’s perspective and a club perspective. You want to get the players in and work them from the first day of pre-season.

“The amount of players we need in, it’s probably unrealistic that we get them in by the end of June, let alone the end of July.

“We’ve got to try and take small steps, one at a time. If two come along at once, brilliant. If we have a two-week break when one doesn’t come in, but then we get two in a week then that could be the nature of the beast this summer.

“I’ve identified positions, I’ve identified players and the board are busy working behind the scenes trying to bring in those players.

“I’m clear in my mind that if we want to close the gap between, sort of, bottom three budgets in the division to, even the top 16, we’ve got to move.

“And it’s not easy. If you go back to FFP, it makes it not easy to move. We’ve got to just do the best we can to attract players at the right wages, at the right transfer fees.

“It’s not just about when can we spend £2million on a player, when can we spend £5million on a player. You have to get value for money, but it’s ever increasingly difficult to get value for money in the Championship.

“You look at players in League One, League Two now – everyone wants one, two, three million pounds for players.

“You can’t get every one right. We’ve had good success at getting players in, adding value to the squad, and you are going to get ones slightly wrong. We’ve certainly done that, and I’ve got no problem with that.

“At the moment trying to recruit the right players at the right ages is key for us.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly