Middlesbrough defender George Friend comments on transfer interest

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The talented defender has been linked with Aston Villa, West Brom and Crystal Palace.

Speaking to the Northern Echo, George Friend has pledged his future to Middlesbrough following a wealth of interest from the Premier League this summer.

Commenting on the interest surrounding his services, the left-back said: “It is a little bit of a distraction but not enough to put me off. It's more of a compliment to be honest, I think any player quite likes the fact that there's interest in them because it means you've done something right in a way so I'm very happy at Boro and I'm ready to start again on Monday for another successful season.”

Although appreciative of the interest, Friend makes it clear that he is happy on Teesside and is ready to stay in the Championship next season to help Boro win promotion.

Having missed out on promotion to the top flight in the play-off final last term, it could be expected that Boro would lose some of their better players. Patrick Bamford has returned to Chelsea, whilst Albert Adomah has been the centre of interest, and Friend has also been garnering Premier League suitors.

The Express and Star claimed that both West Brom and Crystal Palace have been tracking his availability, whilst the Northern Echo has indicated that Aston Villa also want to sign him.

Playing as a left-back, Friend has established himself in the Boro team since his arrival from Doncaster in 2012. The 27-year-old is considered one of the best defenders in the league, and last term he was one of the best performing players overall.

Due to his good performances it was no surprise to see the interest in Friend from the Premier League, but he has committed his future to Boro, and it is clear the Teesside club have no wish to sell him.

It may be time for the Premier League trio to start looking elsewhere for summer reinforcements.

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