‘You plan for the worst-case scenario’ - Millwall boss Rowett braced for prospect of Town selling Bialkowski in January
PUBLISHED: 12:48 14 November 2019 | UPDATED: 12:48 14 November 2019
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Millwall manager Gary Rowett is bracing himself for the prospect of losing Ipswich Town loanee Bartosz Bialkowski in January.
The Blues' three-time player-of-the-year was loaned to The Den in the summer after initially seeing a £900,000 permanent move collapse due to lingering fears regarding a historic knee injury, flagged up in Bialkowski's medical.
He has gone on to become a fans' favourite at Millwall, firstly under Neil Harris before he took his performances up a level following Rowett's appointment, with the latter concerned Town may look to sell the goalkeeper elsewhere in January.
It's understood there was no first-option agreement or future transfer fee agreed with Millwall as part of Bialkowski's loan move.
While Rowett expects Bialkowski to be with his side for the season, given the possibility of Ipswich receiving interest from elsewhere in January, he is looking at other options.
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"I've spoken to the club about one or two things but I don't know the precise details of the agreement," Rowett told News at Den.
"He's a player that has done really well for us so far, he's made some really important saves. The aim moving forward would be that he doesn't have to make quite so many important saves. That would be our ideal plan, defensively.
"But I think as in any position you plan for the worst-case scenario which is making sure you have options in the building but also making sure you have options in the recruitment market.
"At the moment, until something like that happens, it's something that we have to plan for but we hope we won't need to worry about. That's something I'm sure the club will deal with when the time comes."
Given the 32-year-old did not play a competitive game for Ipswich prior to his loan departure, he would be able to play for another club this season given he is not impacted by the 'three club rule' which restricts players to playing for just two clubs in a single season.
Bialkowski signed a lucrative new contract after returning from the World Cup in the summer of 2018 but suffered a significant drop in form the following season and was dropped by both Paul Hurst and Paul Lambert. His deal, which included a significant wage drop in the summer along with the rest of the Ipswich squad, runs until the summer of 2021 with Town having the option to extend it for a further year.
The Blues revamped their goalkeeping department in the summer, allowing Dean Gerken to leave on a free transfer, loaning Bialkowski to Millwall and replacing the pair with Tomas Holy and Will Norris.