Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock has insisted that Boro will not be allowing Marcus Tavernier to leave the club unless they received a big-money offer for him, with owner Steve Gibson willing to turn down offers for him in the summer.
Tavernier has been one of Middlesbrough’s most influential performers throughout the campaign so far as Warnock’s side have mounted a challenge for the play-off places. The 21-year-old has so far managed to register two goals and four assists in his 25 Championship appearances, meaning he is only one behind on each tally for his whole output from last term (Sofascore).
The attacker reportedly attracted the attentions of the likes of Everton, Leicester City and Wolves, while Leeds United have also kept a watchful eye over him. Despite that though Boro are thought to have turned down a number of enquiries for the 21-year-old during the January window. Given Tavernier only recently extended his contract with Middlesbrough they are in a strong position to keep him.
Speaking to the Northern Echo, Warnock insisted that if teams were to come back in for Tavernier in the summer they would be disappointed with Boro not even prepared to entertain offers of around £10 million for him. While he also praised Gibson for his firm stance over the long-term futures of Boro’s key players.
He said: “You’re talking big money when you’re talking about a player like that.
“But it’s daft isn’t it. We’re talking about times where money is very tight and difficult, but if somebody come in for Tavernier and said, ‘We’ll give you £10m and £5m in games to make £15m, I would ring Steve and he would say, ‘I’m not selling him, Neil.
“He doesn’t want to sell any of his young lads or good players. I know one or two owners at clubs I’ve been at, if I told them they could get £10m for him, they’d have him in the car.”
This is a very encouraging update from Warnock and suggests that Middlesbrough do not have to worry about having to go up to retain the core group of talented players they have such as Tavernier. It is likely that clubs will come back in for the 21-year-old in the summer, so it will be reassuring that Middlesbrough are already prepared to rebuff sizeable offers.
Tavernier is an essential player for them and helps to make things happen in the final third for a side who are often not prolific. The attacker has managed to average 1.4 key passes and 1.2 successful dribbles per game in the Championship this term (Sofascore), which shows his ability to create on the ball and drive forwards in possession.
Middlesbrough’s long-term chances on promotion rest on keeping players like Tavernier as they enter into their primes. It does seem by Warnock’s latest comments that Boro are prepared to turn down good offers for him to have him in the squad to boost their top six prospects in coming campaigns.