Millwall chief makes budget admission as Portsmouth fans continue to hope for a Ben Thompson return

Millwall have reached their transfer budget limited and may have to offload players to recruit further amid Pompey fans' hopes of a Ben Thompson return.

Friday, 16th July 2021, 12:38 pm
Updated Friday, 16th July 2021, 1:59 pm

The Lions have been active in the early part of the summer window, already bringing in five players – including midfielder George Saville from Middlesbrough.

Blues supporters are again holding out hope Thompson can be prised back to the south coast some two-and-a-half years since his departure.

The 25-year-old enjoyed a scintillating loan spell at Pompey during the first half of the 2018-19 season. He netted three goals in 27 games before being recalled by his parent club, which left the Fratton faithful devastated.

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Thompson almost returned on loan last summer under former boss Kenny Jackett, while successor Danny Cowley has admitted he too is an admirer.

Millwall chief executive Stephen Kavanagh has been pleased with the business his club have completed so far.

But if any fresh faces are to arrive, the Lions will firstly have to free up funds.

Kavanagh told newsatden.co.uk: ‘The bulk of our business is done, which was always the plan to do that. The budget is spent, perhaps overspent, and I need to manage that.

Ben Thompson. Picture: Joe Pepler
Ben Thompson. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘I’d like to think most people can see that what we’ve done is improved the team on the pitch. Things happen in transfer windows, positives and negatives, but we’ve got ourselves a fantastic base from which to work now.

‘The plan isn’t for any major assets to go out, we don’t want anyone to go out, we want to have a successful season on the pitch. We wouldn’t have done the work we’ve done in pre-season to get the players in if that was the plan.

‘But this is football and things happen. With the stability of the squad we’ve got, it’s a great position from which to manage that in any direction as to what might or might not happen.

‘Normally at this point you’re chasing two or three players and then you’ve got the variable that anything can happen over and above that.

‘Getting that business done early gives us that stability to manage that as well you can in what is a volatile environment.’

The Sidcup-born ace was a bit-part player last season and may have dropped further down the pecking order following the arrival of Saville.

Pompey have also been linked with Lions striker Jon Dadi Bodvarsson.

The Iceland international is free to leave the Den this summer.