AITOR KARANKA wants to have his Middlesbrough squad finalised before the transfer window closes on September 1 as he waits to hear if two of his targets have accepted a move to the Riverside Stadium.
The Boro boss, whose side have no fresh injury problems ahead of Saturday’s visit of Sheffield Wednesday, held talks with Chelsea forward Patrick Bamford on Monday and still hopes an agreement will be reached despite interest from other clubs.
There is also known to be interest in Bamford’s team-mate Lewis Baker, although Karanka was not talking specifically about the midfielder when he asked for a transfer update at lunch-time today at the club’s Rockliffe Park training base.
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But the Spaniard did reveal Middlesbrough’s transfer business has not been concluded, particularly following the departures of both Christian Burgess and Richie Smallwood to Peterborough and Rotherham earlier this week.
Karanka said: “We are working until the last day of the transfer window. I don’t have the squad at the moment which I would like to have. I’m happy with the players I have here, but I would still like to make changes to try to make my squad full.
“We are working but not just with Chelsea, we are working with other big teams in the Premier League. I like to work with other clubs. Everyone knows about my link with Chelsea because of Jose (Mourinho), but it’s not just about Jose and me.
“There is another player we could bring in as well and he knows the desire we have to have him. I hope we can get things done as soon as possible. I would like to finish my transfers before the deadline.”
Karanka’s options in the squad have increased over the last few weeks after making further additions such as Damia Abella and Kenneth Omeruo. He is still, though, desperate to bring in Bamford, who has attracted interest from Wolves too.
The Middlesbrough manager hopes the youngster looks at the success Omeruo has had on Teesside when he makes his decision.
Karanka said: “It’s the same situation with Patrick as it was earlier in the week. We are working to convince him and he knows how important he can be for us. I think Kenneth is the best example for everybody.
“Ken came last season and he didn’t play every game, but he came here in November, didn’t start in the beginning and then finished at the World Cup. That is what can happen and for me Ken shows how important a move to Middlesbrough can be for a player.”