Millwall have experienced a setback in their pursuit of goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski, South London News have said.
The Lions had been hoping to bring the Ipswich Town shotstopper to The Den following Ipswich’s relegation to League One. The Polish goalkeeper is one of The Tractor Boys’ highest earners, and Paul Lambert was open to hearing offers, though insisted no player would leave “on the cheap”.
However, following negotiations with Bialkowski, Millwall manager Neil Harris has revealed that although a deal was close to being achieved, the goalkeeper would prefer to play abroad:
“We thought we were very close to a goalkeeper and getting it done – and then we were informed that he might want to go and play abroad.”
Millwall have been desperate for goalkeeping replacements having lost four goalkeepers already this summer. David Martin moved to West Ham earlier this month, whilst Tom King has left for Newport County. Ben Amos has returned to Bolton Wanderers following the end of his loan deal, whereas Jordan Archer continues to search for a club for next season after he was not offered a new contract to stay at The Den.
The Lions have made moves towards solving their goalkeeping conundrum having yesterday signed free agent Ryan Sandford, a 20-year-old goalkeeper who has represented England at youth level. However, Sandford has been brought to the club to provide cover for the two senior goalkeepers that Millwall have still yet to sign.
Fortunately for Millwall fans, Bialkowski was not the only goalkeeper The Lions have been linked with. Turkish newspaper Fotospor reported that the Championship side were interested in 37-year-old Fenerbahçe legend Volkan Demirel. Boasting 62 international caps and five SuperLig titles, Demirel may prove the experienced figure that Millwall require to build upon their narrow survival from relegation next term.