Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock has insisted that Boro will not be looking to sell any of their key performers in the January transfer window as they aim to continue their promotion push.
Warnock has managed to get Middlesbrough off to a strong start to the campaign and they have built the best defence in the Championship so far to put themselves within touching distance of the top six places. That has seen many strong performances from a number of players with Djed Spence and Anfernee Dijksteel in particular standout players.
Spence has been linked with a potential move to the Premier League with Newcastle United and others reportedly interested in making a potential move for him. While Warnock has admitted that Dijksteel’s form means that he could well become a transfer target for teams in the English top-flight.
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Speaking to Teesside Live ahead of Boro’s trip to Huddersfield Town, Warnock revealed that he is not expecting Middlesbrough to lose any key players in the winter window. While he also suggested that Marcus Browne will not be sent out on loan with him having considered playing him in recent weeks.
He said: “I think a manager is always looking at that. We might get offers – if I was managing in the Premier League right now I’d be making offers for two or three of my lads.
“Like anything else, you’ve just got to wait and see.
“I don’t think Steve would sell anyone that I didn’t want to sell.
“It would have to be ridiculous figures.
“At the moment we’re trying to cement the club and put it on a forward footing and make sure we’ve got the squad on extended contracts as much as we can so we can go into the next few years with the confidence of a squad that have been together.
“So, our focus right now is on tying important players down to longer deals.
“We’ve not thought about selling in January, to be honest. It wouldn’t surprise me if clubs came in, but the money would have to be ridiculous. I don’t think Steve would want to sell anybody either.”
Warnock knows all about what it takes during the second half of the Championship season to keep his side in and around the promotion picture, and Boro must do all they can to back him in the market and ensure that he retains of the key players who have helped put his side in contention.
The likes of Spence and Dijksteel amongst others have improved massively since Warnock took over and it would be no surprise to see Premier League clubs come in for them in January. However, Warnock’s comments should relieve any concerns that Boro fans may have had that one or two could leave the club.
It makes sense for Boro to see how the campaign plays out with those players and others only likely to grow in value, so were they to miss out on promotion they could then cash in on them in the summer. While Middlesbrough’s squad depth is a little thin so keeping hold of Browne makes sense for Warnock’s side.