‘Not ruled in or out’ – Millwall boss on potential move for Stoke City midfielder in the summer

GARY Rowett hasn’t ruled out a permanent move for Ryan Woods this summer and would like talks with the midfielder’s representatives. 

Woods, 27, will have spent a season-and-a-half on loan at Millwall from Stoke City at the end of this campaign.

The former Brentford and Shrewsbury player has been almost an ever-present under Rowett, playing 36 out of 38 league games this season.

Woods told NewsAtDen recently that the “numbers” might make any deal difficult. He is on a salary at Stoke that is above Millwall’s current budget and though he has only a year left on his contract the Lions would have to pay a significant fee for a player who cost the Potters over £6million.

Rowett would like to sign Woods for a third time, and on a second permanent deal after he brought him to Stoke.

“I don’t think it’s ruled out or ruled in,” Rowett said. “The fact of the matter is, like any loan player, he’s not our player so me talking about it publicly is probably not going to help us get a player.

“It’s one of those things that I’ll sit down with his agent, I’ll sit down with the club and see whether it’s something we pursue or not.

“We’ve been very lucky to have him for eighteen months. He’s been a really good fixture in my Millwall team since he’s come in.

“He’s a good player but he’s not our player so we have to be respectful of that.”

Ryan Woods flicks the ball over Jayson Molumby before setting up the winner against Preston

Woods has been in excellent form in 2021, adding more penetrative forward passing to his game and getting assists against QPR and Preston last month.

“It’s probably something he’s put pressure on himself to do. We’ve been speaking about it with him since we were at Stoke,” Rowett said.

“I think Woodsy is the sort of player that he should set up chances and he should set up goals, even though he’s playing a holding role.

“For me, he’s got the ability to unlock the door with those passes.

“What was nice was when he played the ball over the top for Mason’s [Bennett] winning goal against Preston. Then against QPR he played two or three of those passes during the game.

“That’s what he’s got the ability to do. Of course you need those forward-running options to hit, and it was nice to see him doing that.

“That’s something we’ve demanded for a long time from Woodsy and I think when he adds that to his game he looks an even better player.”

Image: Millwall FC