Boro boss admits interest in Davis
Middlesbrough are ready to turn their attention to Fulham midfielder Sean Davis after he handed in a written transfer request.
"I said this morning before I even knew this when asked about Sean Davis that he's a player I've always admired," he said.
"I like the way he plays and I've followed his progress all the way through. "He's a clever player who fits our profile.
He's English, he's young and he's a player that I've said if he becomes available, he's somebody we'd certainly be interested in."
The 22-year-old's transfer request came as a huge blow to Fulham boss Chris Coleman, but Davis felt he had little alternative if he is to further his career and stand a chance of making the full England squad for next summer's Euro 2004 finals.
"I've been at Fulham a long time and now I think it is time I moved on," he told the Evening Standard.
"It is not a decision I have taken lightly and I hope the fans understand, but I am a very ambitious player and I don't think Fulham have the necessary ambition any more since they sold Steve Finnan [to Liverpool].
"I have made the decision with no disrespect to Chris Coleman, who is a great guy. In fact, the decision was made harder because of my respect for him.
"Hopefully he will do well, but I have to put myself first. The European Championships are coming up at the end of the season and I feel I would have a better opportunity of making them by moving to a bigger club.
"I have to think of myself. I want to improve as a player and this is a crossroads in my career. It has not been an overnight decision and I want the fans to know that."
Davis is currently recovering from a medial ligament injury which will keep him out for the first two weeks of the season, but Fulham will want to get full value for a player who joined them as a 16-year-old, and that could mean a price tag of anywhere between stg£5million and stg£7million.
Boro are unlikely to compete at the upper range of that scale with McClaren being careful with chairman Steve Gibson's money, although he paid stg£5.5million for George Boateng last summer and - having missed out on Geremi, David Dunn, Trevor Sinclair, Brett Emerton and Flavio Conceicao already this summer - he may be ready to do business.