Millwall’s chances of signing Matt Smith from Leeds United appeared to weaken last night as United owner Massimo Cellino played down the possibility of the striker leaving Elland Road.
Cellino described Smith as a “nice player” who was “growing” at Leeds amid reports from London indicating that Millwall are ready to move on from their pursuit of the 25-year-old.
Millwall had an initial offer for Smith rejected by Cellino last month and United are believed to have given the Bermondsey club, who they play on the first day of the new season, no encouragement over the past few weeks.
Leeds are already working to compensate for the loss of Ross McCormack, the 29-goal striker who recently moved to Fulham in an £11million transfer, and a deal to sell Smith would cost the club a forward who scored 13 times last season.
The former Oldham Athletic played has only one year left on his contract but Cellino said he would be staying with United next season along with the experienced pair of Steve Morison and Noel Hunt.
Cellino said: “Smith is growing, he’s a nice player and I think he wants to stay.
“A new forward is coming to help (Steve) Morison, (Noel) Hunt and Smith.”