MIDDLESBROUGH are set to sign three more players in the next 24 hours, with full-back Damia Abella poised to complete his move from Osasuna, midfielder Adam Clayton close to completing a £1.5m switch from Huddersfield Town and striker Patrick Bamford having agreed a season-long loan from Chelsea.
Karanka has already added five players to his squad this summer, but the Boro boss has been keen to complete more business and was able to make a significant breakthrough yesterday on three different fronts.
Abella, a 32-year-old full-back, has returned from Spain and should be officially confirmed as a Middlesbrough player this morning.
Clayton’s move from Huddersfield was in jeopardy over the weekend, but the midfielder completed a medical at Rockliffe Park yesterday and should be available for Saturday’s game at Leeds United, with Jacob Butterfield leaving Boro to move in the opposite direction.
And having spent the last week discussing a number of players with Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, Karanka has agreed the terms of a season-long loan for Bamford, who scored 25 goals during loan spells at MK Dons and Derby County last season.
“Patrick could be on his way,” said Karanka, who has already signed Kenneth Omeruo on a season-long loan from Stamford Bridge. “He is one of the names. He played brilliantly last season and scored a lot of goals.
“He is just a young lad, but he has been doing the pre-season with Chelsea and we are speaking about him. It is the same with Clayton. We are speaking about him too, although he is not my player now.
“The discussions with Chelsea started last season because Jose knows me and knows my methodology. The best example of that is Kenneth Omeruo last season. He came here and ended up playing in the World Cup.
“Chelsea know what we can do, and maybe there is one more player (as well as Bamford) that could still happen. But at the moment, I don’t want to say any more.”
Karanka was quick to express his satisfaction in the wake of an extremely professional display that saw Boro brush aside their League One opponents at Boundary Park with a minimum of fuss.
The Teessiders were always the dominant force, and after Williams opened the scoring with a spectacular long-range strike, second-half goals from Leadbitter and Kike completed a comfortable win.
The success followed hot on the heels of Saturday’s Championship win over Birmingham City, and means Boro are still to concede a goal this season.
“The most important thing was the quality of the performance again,” said Karanka. “This was a very difficult game because we were playing away to a team in a lower division who wanted to show everybody that they could play against us.
“We came off the back of a very good victory at the weekend, but I thought it would be a very difficult match. The first half was tough, but the performance and attitude of my players was excellent.
“If you win 3-0, it is because all the team have been very good. It can’t just be about one or two players, it has to be the whole team.
“It could have become difficult if we hadn’t scored the first goal, but we got it through a brilliant goal from Luke. He has the qualities to do that, and after that, everything was easier. We scored two more goals, and were fighting to the end to make sure we didn’t concede.”