Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock has refused to rule out that his club have made a transfer move for Sheffield United attacker Oliver Burke, instead issuing a cryptic stance.
Despite Blades head coach Slavisa Jokanovic insisting that the winger is still a part of his plans and doesn’t have any intention of selling the Scotland international, Boro have opened talks to sign the 24-year-old, according to Football Insider.
A deal for the Teessiders to sign Dutchman Mitchell van Bergen has fallen through so Warnock is on the move for alternatives, and Burke looks to be the next target on the club’s agenda.
Burke arrived at Bramall Lane in 2020 from West Bromwich Albion in a swap deal with Callum Robinson, but failed to really make an impact in the Premier League last season after scoring just once in 25 outings.
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He appeared in United’s first three league games of the season but was not present in Jokanovic’s squad for the defeat to Huddersfield last weekend, prompting suggestions that he could be heading out of the Yorkshire club.
When pressed on the speculation linking Burke to the Riverside, Warnock gave Boro fans reason to be encouraged that a deal could be in the offing.
“He’s a good player, Oliver,” Warnock said, per the Northern Echo.
“He’s alright, I like him. You’ll just have to wait and see…”
Normally managers have a rule of not talking about other club’s players and Warnock normally adheres to that as well.
So the fact he addressed the link publicly suggests that a deal is very close to being struck for the 13-cap international.
It’s fair to say that Burke hasn’t lived up to his early potential which saw him secure a big-money switch from Nottingham Forest to RB Leipzig, but at the age of 24 he still has time to develop as a player.
Middlesbrough could be the place to do that – Warnock is frantically trying to get some new wingers in the door at the Riverside and if anyone is going to get the best out of Burke it could very well be him.