Will he stay or will he go?

Is Adam Clayton about to swap West Yorkshire for Teesside, blue and white stripes for red, the Algarve for Marbella?

While Town continue their pre-season build-up in Portugal, Boro’s Spanish boss Aitor Karanka is back in his homeland for a training camp.

He has already recruited compatriot Enrique ‘Kike’ Garcia.

At £2.7m, the 24-year-old Real Murcia striker is a statement signing by Boro chairman Steve Gibson, who is eager to end a six-season stay in the Championship with promotion back to the Premier League.

It seems there are further funds available, especially with former Town loan striker Lukas Jutkiewicz set to leave.

Former Athletic Bilbao, Real Madrid and Spain defender Karanka, who succeeded Boro legend Tony Mowbray as manager last November, is reported to be keen on Clayton, with his club having already made a £1m bid which was rejected.

There’s no suggestion the ex-Leeds midfielder, who cost £350,000 in 2012 and has become a key player, wants to leave.

 

Last season’s Player of the Year featured in Saturday’s behind-closed doors friendly win over Cypriots AEL Limassol, jetted out with the rest of Mark Robins’ squad to Portugal on Sunday, and is due to be involved in Tuesday’s private Portuguese work-out against Doncaster.

But Boro look set to come back in with an improved offer, reported to be around the £1.5m mark.

Clayton will be out of contract this time next year, when he could leave for nothing, and so far there has been no word of a new Town deal.

The John Smith’s Stadium club are therefore left with the familiar dilemma of whether to cash in on an investment and accrue far more than they paid or keep an influential player and risk him leaving with no financial return.

Town are in the happy position of not having to sell, and can therefore test Boro’s desire to land the Manchester City product.

But there is always that tipping point when an offer becomes too good to refuse.

Town, of course, have ambitions of their own, and while losing Clayton would be a setback, any sale would generate the funds to bring in more fresh faces than would otherwise have been the case.

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