Middlesbrough have been dealt a big transfer blow in their pursuit of Bournemouth’s Jack Simpson, after Eddie Howe revealed the defender will remain on the south coast.
Boro had approached the Cherries over a potential loan move last week but this is now off the table following Bournemouth’s new stance on their young player.
Howe had been supportive of Simpson seeking a loan away for the rest of the season but has seemingly made a U-turn on his decision due to the club’s bad run of form.
The defender played for Bournemouth in Monday’s 2-1 FA Cup defeat at the hands of Arsenal.
Speaking after the Arsenal game, Howe made his thoughts clear on Simpson’s potential move away.
He said: “Jack will be staying with us due to a couple of problems that we have.”
Simpson himself, who has only made seven appearances this season, also spoke to the press after the defeat insisting he was still committed to playing for the Cherries.
“I don’t really have any control over these situations,” he said. “I try not to worry about them. Obviously you’d like to know what’s going on but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter.
“I knew I might play in this game, so my focus was on that. The task now is to try to get in this team and the task for everyone is to stay in the Premier League.”
Simpson added: “Obviously, I want to play for this football club. I knew a couple of days ago I’d be staying. I spoke to the manager about it and just said my focus is here.”
Middlesbrough were not the only club seeking Simpson’s signature, Championship rivals Derby and Stoke had also expressed an interest in the Bournemouth man.
However, TEAMtalk understand Boro have already put the wheels in motion on another defensive recruitment, following Eddie Howe’s comments.
Middlesbrough are in talks with Leicester City over a potential loan move for centre-half Filip Benkovic.
The two clubs are yet to reach an agreement but Jonathan Woodgate will be hoping to get the deal done soon, with the clubs recent defensive injuries.
Boro have been forced to play with midfielders Jonny Howson and Paddy McNair as defensive cover, amplifying the need for an out-and-out centre-half at the Riverside.