Adama Traore will stay at Middlesbrough unless a club meets his transfer clause, according to manager Tony Pulis.
The pacey winger has been linked with a move away from the Riverside but remains a key member of the Boro squad, with just over a week to go until the start of the Championship season.
Traore was forced off midway through the first half of last night’s abandoned pre-season friendly against Sunderland with a shoulder injury.
The friendly at The Riverside was abandoned due to the thunder and lightning that battered Teesside last night, the floodlights briefly went off just as the players entered the pitch for the second half.
The floodlights came back on quickly but the players didn’t after they were taken off the pitch.
Pulis hopes the injury to Traore isn’t as bad as first feared.
“His shoulder popped out, I can remember going back to Ricardo Fuller at Stoke when his shoulder popped out and he played the next game so we’re not sure how bad it is, we’ve taken him to hospital as a precaution,” said Pulis.
“I think everybody especially me wants him to be here, but we have to do what we have to do.
“He has a clause, I think everybody knows he has a clause in his contract and if that money is reached it’s almost taken out of the club’s hands.
“I’ve got great respect for the boy and everybody here is hoping he stays.”
Boro named a full-strength side against the Black Cats, with new signings Paddy McNair and Aden Flint both included.
And, after the match was abandoned at half-time, Pulis revealed he will name another strong side when Boro visit Hartlepool this afternoon.
“We knew that we could get it with the storm, they said it was going to come around eight o’clock and they weren’t too far away from it happening,” said Pulis.
“The referee had said beforehand that he would take no risks and no chances with the game, the public and the people on the pitch.
“The players were desperate to get out there and play, we’ve just been through the stats of people who’ve got the minutes we want them to have before the season starts.
Ahead of today’s game at Victoria Park, Pulis added: “The ones who’ve played tonight will play 45 minutes at Hartlepool.
“We want to add one or two players, we need to add one or two players to the squad, but they have to be the right players and they have to be players that we feel will improve us.”
The transfer window closes on August 9.