BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Ryan Tunnicliffe could still have a future at Millwall.
The former Manchester United and Fulham midfielder, 26, was released by the Lions earlier this month.
But Millwall boss Neil Harris has left the door open for a SE16 stay to be on the cards.
“Ryan finished the season really strongly,” the Lions chief told Millwall iFollow. “We had a really good conversation last week, explaining where we are. Ryan is going to look and see what is available for him as a free agent and we are going to do the same.
“If we talk again in four weeks time – great. He is a really good lad and I certainly wish him all the best.
“Tunni is the obvious one that would have got people thinking about is that the right decision [to let him go] or not?
“I can only make a judgement on what I’ve seen – not just in the last six or seven weeks but what I’ve seen in the last two years. Sometimes it is just about budgets and FFP [financial fair play], creating space within the group.
“I want to bring another central midfielder into the group. We have Shaun [Williams], Ryan [Leonard] and Ben [Thompson] who all have great attributes but are different. I want another player and I can’t have too many players in the same position.
“It was a tough decision to let some people go.”
Harris has also told some contracted players they can try and secure exits – although the Championship outfit are not expected to allow the likes of Fred Onyedinma and Tom Elliott to leave for free.
Both still have Den deals for the 2019-20 season.
“The door is never shut while I’m at the football club,” said Harris. “People can always prove me wrong.”
Millwall twice broke their transfer record in last summer’s transfer window, firstly to snap up striker Tom Bradshaw from Barnsley and then acquiring Leonard from Sheffield United.
But Harris feels that greater investment has to continue.
“It’s a good job we did bring in players for transfer fees,” he said. “If we didn’t then we’d have really been left behind.
“It’s ever-increasingly difficult to get players who are value for money in the Championship.
“If you look at League One and League Two, everyone wants £1million, £2m or even £3m for players.
“We’re not set-up to scout abroad but it’s something we’re looking at for the next six to 12 months. But to branch out to do that, it costs a lot of money.
“I’ve identified positions and players and the board are busy working behind the scenes trying to deliver those players.
“If we want to close the gap from the bottom three budgets in the division to even the top-16 then we have to move.
“It’s not easy. FFP makes it very difficult to move.”