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Boro target McCormack won't force move
MIDDLESBROUGH manager Tony Mowbray may be forced to look elsewhere in his search for a striker after top target Ross McCormack insisted he will not ask to leave Elland Road.
Mowbray revealed last week that he had held discussions with Leeds boss Brian McDermott over the possibility of bringing the Scotland international to the Riverside.
McDermott is keen to retain the services of McCormack, who scored in his side's 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, but Leeds owners GFH Capital have told the Whites boss he must sell before buying.
Boro have reportedly had two bids knocked back by the Yorkshire outfit already, but with Mowbray desperate to add to his attacking department, a bid of around £1.5m could tempt Leeds into selling.
However, in the wake of Saturday's draw, McCormack insisted he is happy at Elland Road, but admitted his future is in the club's hands, not his own.
"If I'm going to go it's going to be their (the club's) decision. It's not going to be my decision," McCormack said.
"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."
Mowbray has also been chasing Malmo's Tokelo Rantie, but similarly the Swedish club are also not keen on letting their man go. The Boro boss is also in the market for a defender and is hopeful of making a breakthrough by the end of this week.
Goalkeeper Jason Steele missed Saturday's draw with Blackpool through an ankle injury. Mowbray revealed the 23-year-old has suffered a slight tear, but indications suggest he won't be missing long-term.
Steele will be assessed ahead of Sunday's trip to Wigan Athletic, but if he doesn't make it Mowbray is confident Jayson Leutwiler will be a capable replacement.
He said: "Jason had a test. Ultimately he has a slight tear, indications from the scan, on an ankle. We didn't want to take the chance with him.
"It is important for Leutwiler to test himself in live action. Jason played every single game last season and Leutwiler was on the bench. It's not a bad thing to be exposed to games now. It is important for his confidence and for us to be able to assess him.
"Jayson has been here a year and a half and this is an opportunity he has been waiting for. He would not be here if we didn't think he was good enough. He has a chance to prove his worth. He has done fine the last couple of games."
Jonathan Woodgate turned in an impressive display against Blackpool at the Riverside, just two days after his father's funeral and Mowbray paid tribute to his central defender's character.
He said: "Woody is a magnificent human being having suffered a loss of a very close family member. The torture he has been going through. For him to perform like he did on Saturday.
"He had a fitness test because he did a little training because he put his father to rest. To perform like that is a fantastic testament to him.
"He was not over tested on Saturday. But he was frustrated with the goal we lost. But he is a fabulous guy who is desperate for this club to do well."
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