Middlesbrough's England Under 21 winger Adam Johnson has asked permission to speak to Manchester City after they tabled a £4.5million bid but may have to wait until the end of the season to get his move.
Boro boss Gordon Strachan confirmed City's interest but underlined his belief that Johnson would stay until the summer when Boro risk a tribunal determining the fee for him.
City's bid was believed to be around £500,000 less than that offered by neighbours Sunderland, while Wolves have offered around £6m. Chelsea are also interested, but have made no offer.
Strachan is talking to Celtic's Australia striker Scott McDonald but may struggle to pay a loan fee for defender Scotland Stephen McManus. McDonald is also wanted by West Ham.
Man City launch Johnson swoop in bid to beat Chelsea for Middlesbrough ace NORTHERN EXPOSURE: Adam Johnson's departure - even for £6m - would be a major blow to a Boro side struggling to keep up with the pace settersDoncaster 1 Middlesbrough 4: Johnson steals the show with a classy brace