Clarets look to steal a march in Wood race

Burnley

Burnley are being linked with an audacious £9million bid for defender Nathan Wood, who has yet to make a league appearance for Middlesbrough.

The highly-rated youngster, who is the son of former Boro and Crystal Palace left-back Dean Gordon, has caught the eye of Premier League scouts over the past 12 months.

Former Boro boss Tony Pulis handed him a first-team debut against Notts County in the Carabao Cup in August 2018.

Wood’s outing against the Magpies made him the Teessiders’ youngest ever player, aged just 16 years and 75 days.

He has since made four appearances – all in the League Cup – although he is now on the fringes of current head coach Jonathan Woodgate’s first-team plans.

Despite his lack of action, Wood is highly thought of at Boro and penned his first professional deal at the Riverside Stadium during the summer.

At the time, Wood said: “Obviously there’s a new manager and it’s a big opportunity for us young lads. I’ve got to work hard and prove myself.

“It’s great (working with Woodgate). He helps me every day with heading, passing and the things I need to improve on.”

Wood could have featured more this season had Ryan Shotton’s proposed transfer deadline-day move to Wigan not fallen through.

Woodgate stressed at the time he would not have gone out to bring in a replacement but handed Wood the chance to fill the void.

The fact Burnley boss Sean Dyche would be willing to offer such a staggering fee for a 17-year-old with limited experience is an indication that Wood is expected to become a star player in the future.

It’s not the first time the Clarets have raided Boro for defensive reinforcements after they signed Ben Gibson for £15m in August 2018.

Burnley also had a bid for Dael Fry rejected in the summer transfer window with Woodgate looking for the 22-year-old to become the future captain at Boro.

Reports of a big-money bid for Wood in the January transfer window stem from reports that Tottenham, Arsenal and Everton are also keeping tabs on Wood.

Therefore, it looks like Dyche is attempting to steal a march on his bigger rivals by making a bid that Boro officials could see as too tempting to turn down.

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