Wolverhampton Wanderers' desire to keep winger Michael Kightly hasn’t stopped rumours that Premier League clubs are lining up bids to test their resolve.
Middlesbrough are the latest club said to be preparing a £4?million bid for the England under-21 international winger. Boro manager Gareth Southgate is said to be keen on buying Kightly to replace Gary O’Neill who is expected to leave the Riverside during the summer.
West Ham United, Everton and Blackburn Rovers and Reading have all been linked with Kightly, much to the annoyance of Wolves who have repeatedly said they are not interested in selling their best young players like Kightly, striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.
However, Kightly has cast doubts over his own future by stating he wants to hold talks with the club and Wolves may do business if Kightly does want to leave, as long as the fee matches their evaluation of the player.
Chief executive Jez Moxey said earlier this week: “We’ve received no enquiries or bids for Michael Kightly. Our chairman, Steve Morgan, went on the record at the end of April with a clear and unequivocal message: ‘Our best young players are not for sale.’”
Meanwhile, Burnley’s operational director Brendan Flood has said the Clarets haven’t given up hope of keeping Wolves target Kyle Lafferty. The Northern Ireland international striker is also wanted by Rangers and Celtic, but Wolves are favourites and are said to have offered £2.5?million plus Stephen Elliott.
The striker has said he wants to leave Burnley where he feels ‘unwanted’, and Flood said the club may be forced to do business. He said: “I don’t think we’ve given up hope [of him staying] but it’s certainly made us think more about whether he is in the squad next year. Realistically, what he said has forced us to consider it a bit.”