MIDDLESBROUGH have cooled their interest in Rotherham United striker Michael Smith for the time being because of differences between the clubs on the valuation of the player.
Boro boss Neil Warnock is an admirer of the 29-year-old front man who wants to stay in the Championship and would be attracted by a move back to his native Tyneside.
But the Millers are understood to be seeking a seven-figure fee and with the best part of two months to go until the new season, Boro are content to bide their time and look at other options.
At least two other Championship clubs are said to be tracking Smith, although Warnock’s close relationship Warne means he can be kept informed should there be any developments.
Smith has a year left on his contract and remains an important part of Rotherham’s plans in League One next season.
Speaking to the Advertiser this week, Warne said he expected all 19 of his senior pros to report back for pre-season training later this month, including the other figure who has been tipped for a move away, midfield man Matt Crooks.
He added: “The 19 will come in and train and work hard and if there are any questions to be answered then I have no doubt our chairman will make the decisions based on what’s in front of him.”