A major update has emerged on Dael Fry which could lead to Southampton CEO Martin Semmens missing out on a deal for the defender.
According to The Northern Echo, Middlesbrough owner Steve Gibson is adamant that he will not entertain any offers for the centre-back this summer. Gibson is keen to give Neil Warnock the best squad possible heading into next season and is not prepared to cash in on Fry, who has been linked with various clubs.
This comes after Football League World reported earlier this week that Southampton, Brentford, Leeds, Wolves and Burnley are all interested in the 23-year-old. Brentford are reportedly preparing an offer for the defender, whilst the other four clubs are said to have scouted him during the 2020/21 season.
Former Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka claimed that Fry “has everything” and that he likes to learn and improve as a player. The Spaniard told Middlesbrough’s official website: “He likes to learn. He trains with us sometimes and he’s improving every single day. He goes with the national team and is the best, he scores goals.
Southampton fans must be gutted if this update means that Semmens will not be able to strike a deal for Fry this summer. There is not much the Saints will be able to do if Boro are sticking to their stance and will not listen to any offers for the defender.
Perhaps the Championship club could be tempted into doing a deal if the 23-year-old becomes unsettled and hands in a transfer request, but there has been no suggestion that he is likely to do so at this point.
Fry could have been an exceptional addition to Southampton’s squad, which is why fans may be gutted that a move for the centre-back now appears unlikely. He averaged a superb SofaScore rating of 6.95 across 32 Championship appearances last term, showing off his consistency and quality at that level.
He won an impressive 65% of his aerial duels and 63% of ground duels, which highlights how dominant he was against attackers in the second tier and why he could be ready for the step up to the Premier League.
The £5,500-per-week defender could have come in and challenged Jannik Vestergaard, Mohamed Salisu and Jan Bednarek for a starting spot and increased the competition for places in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s squad. At the age of 23, Fry also has potential to improve and could have become a key player for Saints for years to come.
Instead, the south coast club will now need to look at alternative options in the market to bolster their defensive ranks heading into next season.