LEE CLARK believes the rest of football has got the message that Jordan Rhodes is not for sale in this month’s transfer window – although he is a Premier League player of the future.
The 27-goal frontman will go in front of the live national TV cameras again against Brentford tomorrow.
His record has already made him hot property, but the manager again spelled out Town are in no mood to part with their prized asset.
“I think people have got the message that he’s not for sale,” said Clark, who reported only Scott Arfield (ankle) and Alex Smithies (knee) are unavailable for selection.
“We have been respectful with those clubs who have come to us and asked the question and they have been dealt with in the right and proper manner – we have said ‘thanks, but no thanks’.
“What we have done ultimately is talk to the boy and make sure he is well aware of what has happened and how we see it.
“He is fine and thriving on it in his own inward way, because he is not an aloof guy in any way, shape or form – he just gets on with the job so quietly and efficiently.
“But you can see out on the pitch it’s given him a huge amount of belief and, even though he didn’t score against Oldham, I thought his overall play was of the highest quality – his hold-up play, his winning of balls in the air, his movement and his touch.
“When that’s all added to the way he can finish, it makes him a Premier League player of the future, so we are delighted.”
Clark said he wouldn’t be surprised to receive more calls about Scotland international Rhodes, but the answer would remain the same.
“They will get a respectful ‘no’ because we know we’ve got the lad’s advisors on board and everyone understands where we are coming from – so we are quite cool with it.”
Clark confirmed that whenever he speaks to people at Premier League clubs, Rhodes’ name is mentioned.
“That’s no surprise – it would be a surprise if it wasn’t,” he said.
“We are happy with that and we are happy in terms of the club, because we have a squad with value and we are moving forward.
“We have already sold two for good money (Anthony Pilkington and Lee Peltier) who are doing fantastically well and we have five or six others in the squad who could fetch seven-figure fees or certainly six-figure fees without any shadow of a doubt.
“We are in the lucky position that we don’t have to sell, so we are pleased with what’s going on.”