Middlesbrough boss make Morgan Rogers prediction amid Aston Villa transfer 'speculation' and reports of further major development

Morgan Rogers has six goals and eight assists for Middlesbrough this season
Aston Villa target Morgan RogersAston Villa target Morgan Rogers
Aston Villa target Morgan Rogers

Michael Carrick expects Morgan Rogers to be in his Middlesbrough side for Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup semi-final, second-leg tie against Chelsea.

That’s after he labelled talk of two failed Aston Villa bids for the forward as ‘speculation’. His comments were also made as transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano intensified talk of a move to Villa Park by claiming Unai Emery has ‘submitted an improved, significant new offer’ to Boro for Morgan. Romano also stated the winger remains Villa’s ‘priority’ this transfer window and that the player sees the move as a ‘huge opportunity’.

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Morgan put all transfer talk to one side as he started Middlesbrough’s 1-1 draw with Rotherham in the Championship. He provided the assist for Marcus Forss’ 82nd-minute equaliser as the hosts toiled against the division’s bottom-placed side. But he wasn’t able to conjure up a winner as Boro lost ground in the race for a play-off place.

The former Manchester City and West Brom youngster has six goals and eight assists from 32 games in all competitions this season. He's a key member in Middlesbrough's promotion ambitions. As a result, Carrick said he had no qualms in asking the player to feature today against Rotherham, despite the ongoing speculation.

'There was no reason to not play him. He’s our player,' said Carrck to TeesideLive. 'He’s a massive part of the group and there was no issue whatsoever. Speculation is speculation. There are rumours everywhere.

'We’ve got some good players throughout the squad and nowadays you get talked about more than ever. That’s just how it is. But you’ve got to get on with the job. This is what we do and I’ve got no issues with any of the boys.’

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When asked specifically about potentially losing the player before the end of the transfer window, Carrick added: ‘It’s just that time of year where there is plenty of rumours and speculation. From my point of view, watching Morgan today, he played well. There is nothing to say really on that one.

'It’s all eyes on Tuesday and we expect him to be with us. From my point of view, it’s pure speculation. Nothing surprises me in football and I don’t get involved in that. I’m only interested in the players we’ve got here to choose from. I picked a team today to try and win the game and we just couldn’t quite pull it off.'

Boro go into Tuesday's game at Stamford Bridge 1-0 up from the first leg.

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