AITOR KARANKA hopes to have a new player with him in Spain next week when Middlesbrough travel to Marbella for a training camp.
Boro are working hard behind the scenes for a breakthrough in the push to make additions to a squad which has only saw goalkeeper Tomas Mejias, who was on loan at the Riverside last season, sign a permanent deal.
Middlesbrough are hopeful of bringing in at least one new striker sooner rather than later, although deals for £7m-rated Genk striker Jelle Vossen and Sunderland’s Danny Graham, who is on Premier League wages, are proving too expensive at this stage.
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Talks are likely to continue on those fronts and other areas, with Karanka known to be considering a variety of options including over in his Spanish homeland.
He has already tried to lure Real Betis full-back Juanfran to Teesside, although it emerged yesterday that Palermo are among the Italian clubs keen to beat Middlesbrough to his signature.
But it is in the attacking area where Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson is particularly keen to excite the fans and that is the part of the pitch where Karanka wants to see huge improvement next season.
His search for new forwards has widened, having initially been looking at the likes of English-based players such as Lewis Grabban, who joined Norwich City, and Adam le Fondre, who signed for Cardiff City.
Karanka is desperate for different ideas in the final third and that has alerted a number of clubs to the availability of players such as Lukas Jutkiewicz and Kei Kamara.
Jutkiewicz, in particular, has no shortage of suitors so far although the £1.5m asking price has not been met. Apparent interest from Premier League new-boys Burnley, however, could see that change after months of waiting for Bolton and Derby County, among others, to match the valuation.
Kamara, unable to force his way in to Karanka’s first team plans so far, is also available and it is understood that Huddersfield Town are interested in the Sierra Leone front-man.
The Terriers’ willingness to land the former Sporting Kansas City man could boost Middlesbrough’s chances of signing midfielder Adam Clayton. As things stand no deal has been struck between the two clubs for £3m-rated Clayton.
It remains to be seen if Middlesbrough are successful in landing a new player or two before they head to Spain on Monday.
When Middlesbrough arrive on the Costa del Sol they are scheduled to play Spanish Second Division teams Lucena and Real Malompedica Linese on Wednesday and Saturday respectively.
The final game will be on Monday, July 21 against Atletico Clube de Portugal. All matches will take place at the Marbella Football Center.