Leeds United have turned down a third offer from Middlesbrough for Ross McCormack in a move which could end Boro’s attempt to sign the Scotland international.
United rejected an improved bid of around £1.5million yesterday, re-iterating their reluctance to consider McCormack’s sale before the end of the transfer window.
Boro tested Leeds’ resilience earlier this month by tabling offers of £1million and £1.3million and they returned to Elland Road with a fresh proposal after their 1-1 draw with Blackpool at The Riverside on Saturday. McCormack encouraged their latest approach with a fine individual goal against Sheffield Wednesday over the weekend but he quickly sought to play down speculation about his future by insisting that he planned to stay with Leeds this season.
“If I’m going to go it’s going to be their (the club’s) decision,” McCormack said. “It’s not going to be my decision.
“Not once have I asked for a transfer and I won’t force through a move. But if there’s an issue with the club and they need me to move on for money, sometimes in life you do things that you don’t want to do.
“I’m firmly happy here and I’m settled in the area. It’s always nice when other clubs are putting in offers for you but as I’ve said numerous times, I’m happy. This is a massive club and I’m really honoured to be here.”
Boro are unlikely to raise their valuation of the forward for a fourth time and sources suggest that Leeds have opened contract talks with McCormack in a bid to kill the interest completely.
United are believed to have approached McCormack’s agent for discussions after the former Rangers and Cardiff City player admitted that he would be happy to draw a line under Boro’s approaches for him by signing a new deal. McCormack is 12 months into the three-year deal he agreed at Elland Road last summer – a deal which made him one of United’s highest earners – and he is presently tied to the club until June 2015.
Speaking after scoring in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Wednesday, McCormack, who also attracted an unsuccessful bid from Blackpool three weeks ago, said: “I know there are other teams interested in me but if the club were to give me a longer contract then I’m more than happy to sign a new contract. Whether that comes or not could be a different story.”
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