Neil Harris claims Millwall fended off strong interest to sign Derby County's Alex Pearce

Neil Harris, manager of Millwall looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Millwall and Wolverhampton at The Den on December 26, 2017 in London, England.

Derby County defender Alex Pearce will join Millwall on a permanent deal.

Neil Harris manager of Millwall looks on prior to the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Millwall and Fulham at The Den on September 25, 2018 in London, England.

Millwall manager Neil Harris has told the South London Press how his side fought off competition for the signature of Derby County’s Alex Pearce with the defender set to move permanently in July.

“Pearcey had a lot of admirers in the summer, due to his international experience and the amount of games he has played at Championship level. The fact he wanted to come [and get the deal done] so early in the summer shows the sort of character he is,” Harris explained.

“It wasn’t a complex deal to do. Pearcey wanted to stay and we wanted to keep him. It was good for both parties.”

 

Pearce originally joined Derby in 2015 on a four-year deal. However, the central defender struggled for game-time with the Rams and failed to make a single appearance this season under Frank Lampard.

The former Reading man subsequently joined Millwall on loan in January. After a slow start, he soon became a regular towards the end of the season for the Lions, partnering Jake Cooper at the back.

With his contract at Derby running out this summer, Pearce was free to talk to potential suitors and his form at Millwall prompted the club to make a permanent move for him after they secured their Championship status.

17th March 2019, The Den, London, England; The Emirates FA Cup, quarter final, Millwall versus Brighton and Hove Albion; Alex Pearce of Millwall celebrates after scoring his sides 1st goal...

The Lions finished just one place above the relegation zone, despite several impressive performances against the Championship’s better teams suggesting they probably should have finished much higher.

Derby will need to bolster their defence this summer as Efe Ambose is also likely to leave at the end of his short-term deal while the excellent Fikayo Tomori will return to parent club Chelsea when his loan spell is up.

Alex Pearce of Millwall applauds the fans during the FA Cup Fifth Round match between AFC Wimbledon and Millwall at The Cherry Red Records Stadium on February 16, 2019 in Kingston upon...

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