Millwall have been dealt a huge blow to their hopes of keeping Abdul Abdulmalik at The Den this summer.
That’s according to a report by football.london, who claim that both Arsenal and Swansea City are interested in signing the 18-year-old centre-forward upon the expiry of his current contract with the Lions, which is due to run out at the end of the month.
A further report by the Daily Mail claimed that Scottish champions Rangers are also keen on a deal for the Millwall academy product, while Gary Rowett appears desperate to keep the youngster in south London this summer.
Speaking recently to the South London Press, the 47-year-old said: “I know he is a player that the club have offered a new deal to. He’s a player that we think highly of, he has done really well in his first season at U23 level.
“It’s not something we want to happen, but we’re also aware that there are a lot of clubs trying to attract the best young players at other clubs – that’s just the nature of football. There are different ways to do that.
“I would love to see Abdul stay at the club. We want to have that pathway open. If a player decides they don’t want to stay and it comes down to compensation then you can’t do anything about it.”
However, the Daily Mail claim that Abdulmalik is ready to make a move away from The Den this summer.
While Abdulmalik has not made his senior debut for Millwall, the 18-year-old has highly impressed in the club’s youth setup, scoring four goals over six appearances in the FA Youth Cup, while also being labelled as one of the most talented prospects to come through the club’s academy for a considerable amount of time.
As such, if Millwall were to lose the services of such a highly-rated prospect without him having played a professional game for the club, it would undoubtedly leave Rowett gutted, as the hard work that the Lions’ coaching staff have put into Abdulmalik’s development as a player would seemingly only go to benefit another club.
Indeed, the Championship side have seen three of their home-grown youth products poached by clubs in recent years, with Millwall receiving a mere £2.5m in compensation fees in return.
And, it appears as if Abdulmalik is set to become the latest teenager to leave the club, with the player whom Rowett dubbed a “fabulous” talent very much looking as if his future in the game lies away from Millwall.