ASTON VILLA are set to return to the table with a third and final offer for Morgan Rogers ahead of next Thursday’s transfer deadline.
Middlesbrough have rejected two bids for Rogers over the last week, with the striker playing and scoring in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final defeat at Chelsea.
The Teessiders have not disclosed the figures involved in Villa’s offers, but sources claim they fell significantly short of what would be considered as a starting point for negotiations.
Villa have put things on hold this week, and are unlikely to make a renewed approach while Unai Emery is preparing his team for tomorrow night’s FA Cup fourth-round tie at Stamford Bridge.
However, once that game is out of the way, there is likely to be a fresh focus on transfer business ahead of next Tuesday’s Premier League game with Newcastle United, and that is likely to result in a final offer for Rogers.
Boro signed the 21-year-old from Manchester City for around £1m in the summer, but while there is the potential to make a significant profit, the reigning Premier League champions inserted a hefty sell-on clause into the deal that took Rogers to the Riverside.
As a result, Boro’s executive team will not be reducing their valuation of the forward, who signed a four-year contract when he moved to Teesside in July.
There is an acceptance that an offer in the region of £12m will be difficult to turn down though, with this month’s accounts highlighting the extent to which player sales are a key element in keeping Boro solvent within the Championship.
Had Boro not sold Djed Spence and Marcus Tavernier in the last two years, they would have had to rely on Steve Gibson for a huge amount of additional financial support, so selling Rogers this month would ease a lot of the pressure to make any more sales in the summer.
The youngster has developed nicely during his first six months as a Boro player, but the signing of Finn Azaz earlier this month means the club is well stocked in the attacking-midfield positions, especially with a fit-again Riley McGree set to return from the Asian Cup next month alongside his compatriot Sammy Silvera.
Boro have brought in Azaz and Luke Ayling this month, but remain in the market for another striker if one becomes available. They could also look to bring in some short-term defensive cover before the window closes with the absence of the injured Alex Bangura meaning Lukas Engel is currently the only natural left-back in the first-team squad.