Neil Warnock says there will be no deal for Dael Fry unless Burnley up their offer for the Middlesbrough defender.
Once lauded as the best thing to come out of the Boro academy since Stewart Downing, the young defender lost his way under the stewardship of Tony Pulis and Jonathan Woodgate.
However, since the arrival of Warnock on Teesside, a whole host of Middlesbrough players have rediscovered their form and Fry is without question top of that list.
The 23-year-old was reported to be interesting a host of clubs in the summer with Everton, Southampton, Burnley and Crystal Palace said to be admirers.
Warnock has previously spoken of the importance of Fry to his plans, saying: “I don’t think (Middlesbrough owner) Steve Gibson would sell Dael Fry for any sort of offer. Steve is like me, if I’m managing here he wants me to be successful. He knows Dael Fry is a very important part of that.
“Clubs have had their opportunities in the past and have gone for other players. I’ve said to Dael, if you think you’re going anywhere next year forget it pal, I’m here, you’re here.”
Nevertheless, despite Warnock’s steadfast stance, Burnley remain keen.
With former Boro man Ben Gibson and the in-demand James Tarkowski set to leave Turf Moor this summer, the Clarets will make the acquisition of a new centre-half a key summer priority.
They are thought to have had a number of approaches for Fry rebuffed in the past and are now being linked with a £10million offer.
It falls well below a £20million valuation put on the defender’s head before his 2020/21 renaissance, or the £30million Woodgate spoke of while he was in charge. And Warnock was quick to laugh off the bid.
“I’m not anticipating losing him at all,” he said. “I saw the figures mentioned, I mean that wouldn’t buy his left lace, let alone his body.”
Fry will come face to face with his former boss Woodgate today when Middlesbrough travel to the south coast to take on Bournemouth.