‘When Man City call it’s difficult to make players stay’ – Millwall boss on £1million-plus move

MILLWALL could receive one of the biggest sums in their history for a player – after one of their youth midfielders joined the Premier League champions.

Darko Gyabi, 14, has moved to Manchester City with the initial compensation and various potential add-ons over a club and international career worth well in excess of £1million.

Millwall wanted to keep Gyabi, with senior boss Neil Harris admitting “he’s an exceptional young player”.

Gyabi is from Catford and follows in the path of another south Londoner, Jadon Sancho, 18, who joined City before moving to Borussia Dortmund in Germany in 2017 and making his senior England debut this year.

But even the potential sum for England youth international Gyabi tops what City agreed for Sancho when he moved from Watford just before his 15th birthday, reportedly for around £500,000.

Harris stressed that if Millwall are going to lose young players then they have to ensure they get the “best deal for the club”.

“As the manager of the football club, you want to see the opportunity for your young players to thrive, but it’s very difficult in the modern game to keep players who have their heads turned by huge, world-renowned club,” Harris said.

Darko Gyabi.

“Man City are that huge club. We talk about transfer fees for young players, and I find it very difficult. Dealing with players that have played 50, 60 international games, and then you’re dealing with 13-, 14-year-olds. It’s very tough.

“This is one that has been publicised, but loads of these go on through the course of a season at our club and everywhere else in the country and don’t get reported.

“I’ve seen Darko play myself a couple of times and he’s an exceptional young player. But when Man City come calling it’s very difficult to make players want to stay.

“If players aren’t going to stay then you have to make sure you get the best deal for the club.

“We wish Darko all the best for the future and we hope to see him on the big stage one day.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly