Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis has spoken out about the club’s chances of keeping hold of winger Adama Traore, who has been subject to interest from Wolves, Huddersfield and Newcastle in recent weeks.

In an interview that appeared in The Evening Gazette, Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis gave his take on the recent transfer speculation surrounding star man Adama Traore.

The 22-year old has been linked to Wolverhampton Wanderers, Huddersfield Town and Newcastle United recently, but is also reportedly on the shortlists of both Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.

But when asked whether a deal for the midfielder was close, he said, “No, no, no. Well we can’t fight it off, if it’s going to happen it’s going to happen. He’s a terrific lad and someone who I’ve got the time for and a lot of respect for. Obviously I’ve got a soft spot for the kid.”

Traore has been involved in all of Middlesbrough’s pre-season friendlies so far, and scored Middlesbrough’s third goal in their 4-3 defeat to League One’s Accrington Stanley. But the transfer speculation has not meant the Spaniard’s performances have faltered on the pitch.

Pulis was very complimentary of Traore’s effort and maturity in the game against Accrington, and was impressed with what he saw at the Wham Stadium.

“I think you’ve seen him today work his socks off, gets stuck in, score – there’s nothing clouding his mind at the moment his attitude was first class again.”

If Traore was to leave the club, Pulis says the most important thing is to delve into the market to find a replacement sooner rather than later.

“Football’s football, you’re at a football club who have sold players before, that’s what happens and you can accept it and the important thing is to find players who can come in and replace them if they do go.”

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Lifelong Boro fan - from the highs of watching Juninho and the Carling Cup victory, to the lows of Gordon Strachan and Lee Dong Gook

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