Millwall boss not ruling out recalling defender from Portsmouth – and drops hint about scenario

MILLWALL manager Gary Rowett hasn’t ruled out a January recall for Mahlon Romeo – but hinted that might only happen if another club make a successful bid for him.

Romeo, 26, is on a season-long loan deal at Portsmouth but the Lions have a recall clause next month.

Even though it is only a temporary deal, Romeo spoke about his five-and-half-year spell with the Lions in the past tense after his move to Pompey in August. Rowett also has Danny McNamara, Ryan Leonard and Billy Mitchell who can play right wing-back, so it appears unlikely Romeo will play for Millwall again.

Romeo could also have interest from other clubs in January as he continues to have a strong season on the south coast. He has played 18 times for Portsmouth this campaign.

Pompey boss Danny Cowley was asked this week if he would be interested in a permanent deal for the defender.

“It would be tough, but we’d love to have him,” Cowley told The News in Portsmouth. “It’s been a good loan for both of us.”

“He’s been a machine, really good.

“He was short of games when he first arrived, but he soon got fitter, more athletic and powerful.

“We’re seeing, for me, one of the best right-backs in the Championship.”

Romeo signed a new long-term contract in March 2020 and would command a significant fee.

His performances this season for a side just outside the League One play-off places could catch the attention of other sides with more financial muscle than Portsmouth.

“I think it might be an option, it’s whether we activate it or not,” Rowett replied when asked by NewsAtDen if he had ruled out recalling Romeo in January.

“Danny has spoken about them not being able to afford to make the deal permanent. Well, maybe another club might be able to afford to make the deal permanent.

“We’re open-minded.

“Like I said before, Mahlon wanted a fresh start, he has spoken quite a lot down there about needing a fresh start.

“We’re open-minded in January but he’s our player, he’s under contract with us and what I would say is he’s done really well.

“We’ll see what the options are in January.”

Image: Millwall FC 

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John Kelly