"Adam is a fantastic talent and I do not want to see him leave," the Boro boss told the Evening Gazette. "Maybe I may have to find him a new position. I'll have to look at that. I know he can play on the right.
"If we alter how we play in the middle of the park that might help Adam and Stewart play together in the same team. I am not afraid to let people go on the basis that they might come back to haunt you," he insisted, acknowledging that academy graduates like James Morrison had to leave to get a regular game.
"It might mean certain players have left here, had to go to get first team football, which they would not have achieved here," he said. "But Adam could be very, very special and I would not want to see him play for another club.
"The hardest thing for some of our younger players is that they have got in the team too young and had more Premier League exposure than really they are ready for.
"Adam is a classic example of that. He got in the first team at 17 or 18 and I do not think he was ready to go. It means that three years down the line he is only 20.
"He has been around the first team for three years and he does not feel he is progressing, but he has had more involvement in the first team than most players of his age. Lee Cattermole is the same."