Middlesbrough winger Adam Johnson has asked to be allowed speak to Manchester City despite manager Gordon Strachan's insistence that he is going nowhere.
Press Association Sport understands the 22-year-old midfielder wants to hear what the Barclays Premier League outfit have to say after they tabled a bid of around £5million.
Johnson, who has scored 12 goals for the Coca-Cola Championship club this season, is out of contract at the end of the current campaign.
Strachan confirmed earlier on Thursday that a series of potential buyers had contacted the Teessiders, some of them with verbal offers and at least one with a formal bid.
Sunderland, Johnson's hometown club, are long-time admirers, while Everton too have been linked with him.
However, Strachan has repeatedly insisted the England Under-21 international is not for sale, and he remained defiant at his pre-match press conference this morning.
He said: "We have had verbal offers in the last week for Adam, but nothing has changed.
"Adam is still here and I would expect him still to be here for the last 19 games of the season.
"We have had verbal offers, we have had one official offer and I would imagine after looking at those that Adam will be here for the rest of the season, which we are quite delighted about because he is coming back into form.
"That's great for us because when he is on form, we are a better team, that's for sure. Adam is a terrific, terrific professional and a terrific young man. He is a credit to his mum and dad."