Boro not letting defender go

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Middlesbrough have rejected a bid from Panathinaikos for Austria international defender Emanuel Pogatetz.

The Greek club is are understood to have offered around £1.5million for the 26-year-old, but manager Gordon Strachan, currently trying to strengthen his squad, is well aware of just how much it could cost to replace a player for whom the Teessiders paid £1.8million in June 2005.

Strachan told the club's official website: "The Greek club has offered money for him. I know he is out of contract in the summer, but I know for a fact it would need five times the amount mentioned to replace him with a player of similar ability, so that won't be happening."

He added: "The only way it would happen is if it was right for us, which it certainly wouldn't be. Poggy understands that and he's fine about it.

"He is one of the men we have here and we don't have too many. As a leader as well as a footballer, he is invaluable.

"By a million miles at this time, Poggy is better off staying here than us taking the money that's on offer."

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Emanuel Pogatetz

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