BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Lee Bowyer has admitted that Charlton Athletic face a huge challenge in securing Lyle Taylor on a new contract.
The 29-year-old Addicks fans’ favourite was the subject of multiple bids by Brentford before last Thursday’s deadline – with an offer of £4million rejected by owner Roland Duchatelet.
But Taylor has less than 12 months to run on his deal with Charlton.
And Bowyer knows that putting together a financial package that mirrors Taylor’s importance and stature is unlikely to happen as the club operate under strict spending controls.
Duchatelet has driven down costs as he looks to sell the South London club.
Taylor ran down his contract at AFC Wimbledon before joining Charlton in the summer of 2018. He has scored 27 goals in 47 matches – the latest coming in Saturday’s 3-1 home win over Stoke City.
“The player has got to want to sign a deal,” Bowyer told the South London Press.
“The hardest thing now is his head has been turned by a very good contract offer by Brentford.
“We ain’t offering what Brentford are offering, we ain’t ever going to offer what Brentford are offering. But it is not just Brentford. There was another club interested in him but they didn’t want to pay the money – so they didn’t even make an offer. But we know they were interested in him.
“The most important thing is he is here and scoring goals.
“Of course we would like to tie him down – that’s blatantly obvious. But unfortunately, as everyone knows, money talks. For Lyle it is a difficult situation.
“We will be making him an improved offer, that’s for sure, then it is down to Lyle whether he wants to sign it. We have got a budget, that’s just the way it is.
Bowyer has expressed his gratitude to Duchatelet for keeping hold of his prize attacker as well as sanctioning incoming deals.
“He has to have credit,” said the Charlton manager.
“If you look at the players he has brought in, he has backed us. We have been able to bring back Josh Cullen and I never thought that would be possible. [Beram] Kayal – I never thought we would get him through the door.
“With the young [loan] lads they are on good money at their clubs. The owner has backed us. To turn down £4million for Lyle, I can’t see how you can knock him. You can’t.
“I’ve said in other press bits that I have to thank him. I thank him for standing by me and keeping Lyle.”