SPECULATION is intensifying surrounding the future of Cherries star Lewis Grabban – although the Dorset club has today scotched rumours of any bids for the striker.

Grabban saw his stock rise sharply after netting 22 times for Cherries last season, finishing the campaign as one of the leading goalscorers in the Championship.

His impressive form saw him go close to leaving the club in January after rivals Brighton had triggered a £1.1million release clause in his previous contract.

However, after having talks with the Seagulls, Grabban was persuaded to stay at Dean Court and was rewarded with an improved three-and-a-half year deal.

Grabban plundered a further 10 goals after committing his future to Cherries and has been the subject of mounting transfer speculation since the end of the season.

The Daily Echo revealed last week that Middlesbrough were understood to be preparing to table a bid for the 26-year-old, who joined Cherries in a £300,000 move from Rotherham two years ago.

And earlier today, Sky Sports reported that Boro had made “an approach” for Grabban, with their story saying the Teessiders had become the first club to lodge an “official move” for the player.

However, when contacted by the Daily Echo, Cherries chief executive Neill Blake said: “No bid has been received for Lewis Grabban from Middlesbrough or any other club.”

Cardiff City, relegated from the Premier League, have also been linked with Grabban, even though the Welsh outfit has an abundance of strikers which includes new recruit Javi Guerra from Real Valladolid.

Grabban, who is understood to have a £3million release clause in his current contract, is also rumoured to be a target for his first club Crystal Palace where he was named Academy scholar of the year in 2006.

The south Londoner, who also had a spell at Millwall, made an inauspicious start to his Cherries career but has flourished under boss Eddie Howe and hit 13 goals to help the club return to the Championship.