MIDDLESBROUGH have upped their offer beyond £1 million to land Rotherham United midfield man Matt Crooks.
The move has yet to be confirmed but the 27-year-old will move to the Riverside Stadium if he passes a medical.
Championship Boro last week made a bid of £750,000, with a further £500,000 in potential add-ons, that was rejected by the Millers.
Neil Warnock’s Teessiders returned this week with an improved initial amount of around £1.1m to seal the deal, the Advertiser understands.
“It’s not top secret that a bid has been accepted,” Rotherham manager Paul Warne said following Tuesday night’s 2-2 friendly draw at Rochdale.
“Crooksy’s got his medical to have. I cannot foresee him playing another game in a Rotherham United shirt.
“Middlesbrough increased their bid to a level where the chairman felt everyone came out feeling happy. Obviously the player wants to play in the Championship and he deserves that right.”
Crooks, who moved to AESSEAL New York Stadium from Northampton Town in January 2019 for £200,000, proved his second-tier worth last season despite the Millers’ relegation back to League One.
“We’ve had a good two and a half seasons out of him,” Warne said. “He’s improved no end physically and in his understanding of the game. That’s down to my coaches.
“He will be sorely missed in the dressing room, that is for sure. Your best players always move on.”
The boss, whose side were in action at Harrogate Town last night and have further pre-season games at Grimsby Town on Saturday and at home to Newcastle United on Tuesday, is desperate to strengthen his squad further after signing left-sided Shane Ferguson this week
“We have to pick ourselves up, shake off the relegation from last year and have a right go,” he said. “We’re screaming out for new faces to come in and have an impact.”
The money for Crooks, in a Covid-depressed market, is less than Rotherham could have expected in normal times but still represents a handsome profit even when Northampton have been paid their sell-on fee.