Palace and Cardiff keeping tabs on Millwall defender Malone

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

CRYSTAL Palace and Cardiff City are keeping tabs on Millwall’s Scott Malone.

Keith Millen, Palace’s assistant manager, compiled a scouting report on Malone when the Lions played Birmingham in September.

And it has now emerged that Bluebirds boss Russell Slade is also an admirer of the 23-year-old.

Malone’s deal at The Den expires in the summer and he shares the same agent with Slade.

But Ian Holloway insists Millwall haven’t received any enquiries for the defender, who is currently sidelined with a thigh strain.

“If there’s speculation about anyone in my squad, it’s because they’ve been playing well enough to deserve it,” Holloway told the Southwark News.

“And Scott looks a really, really good player at times.

“Nobody has picked the phone up to me and I’m only concerned with him getting fit and playing well for us. He’s focused on exactly the same things.”

However, Holloway admits Malone’s contractual situation leaves him with a dilemma.

The Lions have announced that they will not discuss new deals with any of their players until the team is higher up the table.

“I’ve already told Scott that things would have been different had I been here longer and that his contract might now cause us an issue,” added Holloway.

“If he is worth any money, do I want him walking out of the club for nothing next June?

“But on the flipside of that, do I actually want to lose him? The answer to both of those questions is ‘no’. I don’t want to lose him for nothing but I don’t want to lose him full stop.

“I’ve got a very strange situation on my hands where there are 24 players coming to the end of their deals – I’ve inherited that.

“As things stand, we haven’t decided anything about anybody. I’ll decide who gets a contract based on the budget and who I think has done well.

“There will be a lot of speculation because we have a lot of players out-of-contract.

“If anyone wants to discuss contracts, they have to make sure we’re much further up the league than we are now before they even consider talking to me about it.

“Anybody who I’ve signed since January has agreed to an option in their contract which favours the club.

“It means they’ll never be out-of-contract because we can always trigger an extension.

“That’s exactly how it should be because it makes players work hard for that extra year, every year.

“I don’t agree with long-term deals that expire on a fixed date because a player could get a bad injury at any time.”