Tony Mowbray has hinted that he may be ready to finally admit defeat in his pursuit of Leeds United striker Ross McCormack.
Middlesbrough have had three bids of between £1m and £1.5m for the Scotland international rejected by their Championship rivals over the past fortnight.
Leeds boss Brian McDermott said in his weekly press conference on Thursday that they had resumed contract negotiations with McCormack and that in rejecting three bids for the player they had made their feelings known.
Coincidentally, the potential availability of former Leeds striker Luciano Becchio at Norwich City could also help Mowbray move on from McCormack, with the Argentinian surplus to requirements at Carrow Road.
When asked about transfer targets in his press conference yesterday, Mowbray said: “The deals have to be right and in the meantime we get on with the team we’ve got, which is doing fine.
“The conversations continue with the clubs that we’re talking to. It will only intensify as next week starts to run away and September 2 looms, because some of the deals we have on the table to some of these teams, they will know that offer will be off the table when time runs out and they either need the money or they don’t.
“We have said enough is enough and moved on. I’ve tried to get across without being too direct that we are talking to other clubs and if one deal comes in that we like we will just forget and never go back.
“I don’t think it’s right to say that applies to him (McCormack) but we have irons in the fire. That’s not a veiled threat, it’s reality and I’m sure they know that.
“You can’t only have one target in football. We are pursuing different avenues and hopefully one falls in that we like.
“We have a valuation of footballers and once you start going beyond that you are going into water you shouldn’t be (in).
“There’s one or two players we’ve enquired about and the numbers quoted back have been ridiculous so we just forget about them and move on.”
Ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Wigan, in which Boro look for a second away win of the season, Mowbray said: “Hopefully we can finish strongly before the international break arrives.”