According to a report in the Northern Echo, Middlesbrough have ruled out the possibility of selling George Friend this summer, despite interest - and an offer - from a selection of Premier League sides.
The 27-year-old left-back was regarded as one of the best players in the Championship last term, and is seen as a keystone in Aitor Karanka’s impressive Boro defence. His performances have not gone unnoticed by teams in the top flight, with Crystal Palace, West Brom and Aston Villa all interested in signing him.
The Express and Star reported on interest in the defender from the Baggies and Palace, whilst the Northern Echo claimed Villa have been tracking his availability. Only one club have yet to submit a formal approach for Friend, with the Echo report linked at the top indicating Boro have rejected a £4 million offer from West Brom.
That would be a high price for a 27-year-old unproven in the Premier League, but Middlesbrough rejecting the offer proves they are not willing to sell him.
The report claims that the club have ‘no desire’ to sell Friend for any price, regardless of the profit the club could make on his sale - having signed him in 2012 for just £100,000.
It is stated that Boro expect more offers to be made for Friend in the coming weeks, but the club will reject any offers for him as they look to build a team who can go one step better this coming season and win promotion to the Premier League.