MICHAEL Carrick is paying no attention to transfer speculation linking Paddy McNair with a move away from Middlesbrough this summer.

McNair, like Chuba Akpom, is in the last 12 months of his contract on Teesside, prompting inevitable speculation of interest from elsewhere. Luton Town and Leeds United have both been linked this summer, while there was also reported interest from Italian outfit Como 1907 earlier this week.

Dael Fry, Matt Crooks and Josh Coburn have all signed extended contracts so far this summer, but McNair's long-term future remains uncertain as things stand. Carrick, though, isn't concerned by the situation.

"It's similar to Chuba really, he's our player and it's great to have him," said Boro's head coach.

"It’s that time of year isn’t it when there are contract situations knocking about, it’s the transfer window, and so names are getting thrown around here there and everywhere. I understand that, it is what it is. But until there is anything really going on, it doesn’t concern me.

"It’s eyes on the team, who’s fit, who’s training well - all the boys are training well - and looking forward to the start of the season. At the moment, that’s fine and no drama."


McNair looks set to start the season at right-back for Boro in the absence of Tommy Smith and Anfernee Dijksteel, who both suffered injuries in pre-season. It's the latest example of the versatility of a player who has been used in various midfield and defensive roles during his time on Teesside.

Carrick said: “Some players can naturally do it, for whatever reason, and do it very well, whereas others are cemented more to their position and stick to that. It’s fine either way.

"There have been plenty of players over the years who can adapt and play different positions. As a coach, to have that flexibility is important in certain areas and Paddy can certainly provide us with that, as he has done for this club for a long period of time. I played with him at United, so I know what he’s capable of doing."