Mark Warburton has addressed the future of centre-back Rob Dickie amid links to Premier League trio Leeds United, Newcastle United and Wolves.
Dickie was instrumental in the R’s ninth-place finish last season and has made a fantastic start to the 2021/22 campaign – helping the west London go unbeaten so far and scoring three times.
The 25-year-old’s performances in a hooped shirt appear to have turned heads outside the EFL with Football Insider reporting that Leeds, Newcastle, and Wolves are weighing up moves and set to battle it out for the defender in the last few weeks of the window.
The R’s are said to be bracing themselves for late interest and reluctant to lose their 2020/21 Player of the Season, something that is echoed in Warburton’s recent comments.
Speaking to West London Sport, the 25-year-old coach addressed the future of the in-demand centre-back.
He said: “Rob has more than justified his fee.
“It’s amazing, as a coach, an owner or a director of football, you read some of these stories about our players being linked with other clubs but the fees listed are nowhere near good enough.
“Rob was a good investment for us. A young centre-half who is getting better and I will think he will get better throughout this season.
“I have no doubt he will benefit from the types of games we had at Hull where we had to stand up, show character, quality on the ball and defend our goal.
“I think that type of game for Rob Dickie and all the young players is a great learning curve and he is in a good place right now.”
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Given how impressive he was last term and the way in which he’s started the 2021/22 campaign, it was only a matter of time before Premier League clubs came calling for Dickie.
Warburton’s comments seem to suggest that the west London club are prepared to be strong when it comes to their star defender but if significant offers come in, they’re going to be very hard to turn down.
With three years still left on his current deal, the R’s are in a strong negotiating position and will want much, much more than the £2 million they paid Oxford United for him last summer.
With promotion being targetted this term, you feel the west London club will want to keep hold of the defender but if his head is turned then letting him leave may be the best plan of action.
Leeds, Newcastle, and Wolves are all relatively big sides and the prospect of making the step up to the top flight by joining them has to be an attractive one for the 25-year-old.