That’s according to journalist Graeme Bailey, who revealed that both the City Ground outfit – and fellow promoted side Bournemouth – have seen bids turned down by Chris Wilder’s side, although are likely to return with an improved offer.
Writing on Twitter about those approaches, the transfer insider stated: “Middlesbrough reject bids from Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth for Marcus Tavernier. They will be back whilst others such as Leicester and Everton are also keen. Boro now battling to keep one of their star performers from last season.”
In the attached piece for 90min, it suggests that both Forest and the Cherries made offers in the region of £10m for the 23-year-old, although Boro are holding out for closer to £15m, as they look to recoup a sizeable fee for a player who has just two years remaining on his existing deal.
Although there will be obvious frustration at having seen their first bid rejected for the Englishman – whose brother, James, is captain of Rangers – supporters will likely be delighted that Steve Cooper and co are to set to press on with negotiations, such is their intent to land the £4.05m-rated gem.
The Leeds-born ace has seemingly caught the eye of a number of Premier League clubs following his form at the Riverside Stadium in recent years, notably scoring five goals and providing five assists in 44 league games in the second tier last term.
That takes his total tally to a respectable 18 goals and 18 assists in 155 games for the northeast side in all competitions, having initially made his debut for the club in a 3-0 win over Scunthorpe United back in August 2017.
Dubbed “tireless” by Dominic Shaw, the £5.9k-per-week menace has also showcased his defensive strength of late by averaging 2.2 tackles and 0.8 interceptions during the 2021/22 campaign, with his all-round attributes undoubtedly making him an attractive prospect for top-flight sides.
In the case of Forest, in particular, promotion-winning coach Cooper is seemingly intent on bolstering his squad even further this summer, having already been afforded significant backing by the Midlands outfit.
Adding Tavernier to that long list of incomings could well prove yet another astute piece of business – particularly due to his remarkable versatility to feature anywhere across the midfield – with supporters set to be buzzing to see another highly-rated talent arrive through the door.