Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate responds to interest in Dael Fry and Marcus Tavernier

Middlesbrough head coach Jonathan Woodgate has described centre-back Dael Fry as the most valuable player at the club following Burnley’s £8million offer for the young defender.

Wednesday, 7th August 2019, 7:34 pm
Jonathan Woodgate.

Fry, 21, is under contract with his hometown club until 2023 and has regularly been called-up to England’s under-21 squad in the last few years.

Woodgate is, therefore, keen to build his new-look side around the talented centre-half, who is still recovering from a hamstring injury he sustained last season.

When asked about Burnley’s offer, Woodgate laughed off suggestions Boro would sell Fry ahead of Thursday’s 5pm deadline, highlighting that centre-back Adam Webster, 24, has recently joined Brighton from Bristol City for a reported £20million.

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“What was the bid? £8million or something like that?,” said Woodgate when asked about Burnley’s bid for Fry. “What did Webster just go for at Bristol City? I think that answers the question.

“Dael Fry is a special player for me – I’d say he’s the most valuable player at the football club, worth the most money. In the future, I see him being a full England international.

“I don’t want Dael Fry to leave the football club, it’s as simple as that. It’s a really simple message.”

Woodgate was also asked about another one of his young prospects, Marcus Tavernier, following reports that Barnsley were preparing a third bid for the 20-year-old wideman.

Tavernier was left on the bench during last week’s Championship opener at Luton, yet Woodgate is adamant the player has a big part to play this season.

“He’s someone I want to keep. I really like Tav,” added Woodgate. “He’s got that energy I like, and he can play in a number of different positions.

“I love him in training, I love his endeavour and his enthusiasm. He rattles into tackles, he’s up and down, and he scores goals.

“He just needs to add a bit of consistency to his game at times, but he’s learning and he wants to improve. He’s someone I want to keep here – Tav will play games for me.”