Bruce told to forget Johnson bid as Boro issue hands off warning

04 November 2009 04:41
Middlesbrough have issued a hands off warning to Sunderland over their talented young winger Adam Johnson.

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is leading the pack of Barclays Premier League clubs interested in the England Under-21 winger after watching him at the Riverside last month.

Hot property: Adam Johnson has attracted interest from a host of Premier League clubs

But Boro's new boss Gordon Strachan is understandably keen to hold on to the Easington-born midfielder who has scored nine goals already this season as he relishes his first run in the first team.

And the Teesside club's chief executive Keith Lamb says the priority for Middlesbrough is to tie the 22-year-old to a long-term contract. Johnson has so far resisted Boro's fresh offers to replace the deal which runs out at the end of this season.

Hands off: New Boro boss Gordon Strachan is determined to keep Adam Johnson despite rival interest from Sunderland manager Steve Bruce (R)

If that contract is allowed to run out Johnson would not leave the Riverside on a free transfer, but Boro would receive some compensation as he has been at the club since he was a schoolboy.

  But Lamb is hoping to see off a number of top flight clubs who have been flocking to Boro matches this season.

He said: `We have had no approach from Sunderland, nor would we welcome one.

'Adam is a Middlesbrough player and we want him to stay.'

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Source: Daily_Mail