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Boro determined to keep hold of Forest target Leadbitter
MIDDLESBROUGH do not want to cash in on Grant Leadbitter before the transfer window closes on Monday after a fresh offer from Nottingham Forest.
Last night, Tony Mowbray was forced to come to terms with the fact he has missed out on another striking target after Tokelo Rantie joined Championship rivals Bournemouth for a club record fee.
Forest's persistence to secure the services of Leadbitter has continued and Boro have been considering a further attempt to land the former Sunderland midfielder.
Billy Davies, the manager at the City Ground, has already had two offers knocked back since the end of last season and the latest bid is believed to be nearer the £2m mark.
But the 27-year-old remains a key part of Tony Mowbray's plans at the Riverside Stadium and would prefer not to lose him to a Championship rival.
Forest's previous bids were either side of £1m but Davies has identified him as the creative midfielder his team lacks after a positive start to the campaign.
There has also been interest shown in Leadbitter from Blackburn, but Middlesbrough have so far refused to budge in their determination to hold on to him.
Rather than sell any of his first team players Mowbray is still working hard on bringing new men in after struggling over the last couple of weeks.
Plenty phone calls have been made but, despite thinking progress had been made a few times, nothing concrete has materialised.
And with the clock ticking towards Monday's 11pm transfer deadline, it is growing increasingly likely that Middlesbrough will not land anyone before the window shuts.
Given there will still be room for emergency loans seven days later, it is not a complete disaster for Mowbray if he does not strengthen his ranks by Monday night.
But ideally the Middlesbrough manager wants to bring in permanent additions rather than recruit loan players who he might have to send back to their parent clubs later in the season.
Leeds United striker Ross McCormack is still the preferred option but there is now a feeling the Scotland international could stay at Elland Road for the remainder of the campaign.
Middlesbrough have had three different offers rejected by Leeds after being given indications McCormack could be for sale. That now, though, seems to have changed after the player's goalscoring start to the season.
Norwich defender Daniel Ayala is still on the radar, but he could arrive after the transfer window has shut if he is still not getting much game time in the Premier League with the Canaries. The situation is similar for Luciano Becchio.
A loan option for the likes of Aston Villa's Stephen Ireland remains a viable option too. Again, though, nothing is likely to happen until Villa know they have not been able to move him on permanently.
Confirmation of Rantie's move to Bournemouth means Mowbray and his scouting team are having to consider attacking alternatives at home and abroad.
Mowbray, whose side are unbeaten in three going in to Saturday's visit of Sheffield Wednesday, said: “We are working on things on a daily basis. How close are we to doing something? I would like to think pretty close.
“Let’s wait and see what happens but we are working very hard to strengthen the squad.”
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