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Former Hull City defender Robbie McKenzie leaving Gillingham after rejecting new contract

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Robbie McKenzie has turned down the opportunity to stay with Gillingham next season.

Manager Neil Harris knew it was likely that the 23-year-old right-back would be looking at options elsewhere and has now been told he won’t be signing the deal on offer.

Robbie McKenzie leaves after two seasons with Gillingham Picture: Andy Jones
Robbie McKenzie leaves after two seasons with Gillingham Picture: Andy Jones

McKenzie is one of two senior out-of-contract Gillingham players to have been offered a new deal. Jack Tucker is the other one and he’s almost certain to be leaving.

Both are under the age of 24 and it means the Gills will at least be entitled to compensation.

Harris is glad to have some clarity over McKenzie, so he can focus on bringing in a replacement.

He said: “Robbie McKenzie is not going to be with us next year, as much as Robbie did well for us and we like Robbie, we have clarity, he isn’t going to be here.

“He is going to move on and now we know we need a right-back.”

McKenzie joined the club following his release from Hull City two years ago.

Gillingham have just seven contracted players at present but work is progressing well to bring in additions, possibly as many as 15.

Tucker has been linked with numerous sides, both in England and Scotland. A move north of the border will drastically reduce the Gills’ compensation package.

In the last few days Tucker has been linked with Ipswich Town, Sheffield Wednesday, Hull City and Scottish Premiership side Hibernian. Portsmouth have previously been interested while Celtic and Rangers have also reportedly had a look at the 22-year-old.

Like many footballers, Tucker has been enjoying a break and Harris isn’t expecting him back next season, saying: “It is very unlikely Jack will be at the club next year and we are all fully aware of that. Jack’s agent at the moment will be looking at suitors.”

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