MIDDLESBROUGH have dismissed an £8m bid from Burnley for Dael Fry, with Jonathan Woodgate determined to do all he can to hold on to the centre-half.

Burnley officials contacted their counterparts on Teesside earlier today to formally register their interest in Fry, but their offer was immediately rejected.

The England Under-21 international missed Boro’s opening Championship game at Luton Town through injury, but should return to full fitness in the next couple of weeks.

He is regarded as one of the most promising young English defenders in either of the top two divisions, having made his senior Boro debut as a 17-year-old in 2015.

He has worked with Woodgate at junior and senior levels, and credits the new Boro head coach as one of the biggest influences on his career so far.

Woodgate is keen to make the Middlesbrough-born 21-year-old one of the cornerstones of his back four this season, and will be urging those above him to do all they can to retain him beyond Thursday’s transfer deadline.

The requirements of Financial Fair Play mean Boro are unable to completely dismiss the notion of selling any of their players, but having sold Ben Gibson to Burnley for £15m last summer, the Teessiders would require a bid of at least that amount before they would even consider entering into discussions about Fry.

The centre-half signed a new five-year contract as recently as April 2018 and has no desire to leave his hometown club.

Burnley’s interest in Fry is likely to be related to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding James Tarkowski, with the England international having been linked with Leicester City as a possible replacement for Harry Maguire, who completed a £90m move to Manchester United earlier today.