Bryan Robson is ready to move into the transfer market again, despite spending over £18m on seven players since July.

The Middlesbrough manager will decide this week whether to go ahead with a £1m deal for Australia international defender Simon Colosimo.

The 21-year-old has been on trial at the Riverside for ten days and could play in a private game against Newcastle at Chester-le-Street today.

Robson wants to see the centre-back in a match situation and the meeting between the clubs' reserve teams at Newcastle's training ground is the ideal opportunity.

He is also waiting for an answer from Parma midfielder Dino Baggio after holding talks in Italy last week.

Robson is ready to push through a £5m bid for for the Italian World Cup star but faces intense competition, with Lazio and AC Milan among half-a-dozen other clubs involved.

The 29-year-old midfielder is also understood to prefer a move to an Italian club if possible.

"I was over there and held talks, serious talks, with a top player and his agent," said Robson. "There is nothing imminent but I do have money and will look at players when they become available.

"I will buy, but the money will only go on a top-notch player."

He has also recouped £5.5m from the sale of Christian Ziege to Liverpool and Boro are hoping to receive a further £2.5m when the FA announce the result of their arbitration in the case.

But Robson insisted last night that the big spending would be justified this season.

He is under fire again from unhappy fans, with the club slipping into the bottom five, but claimed a top-six finish is within reach.

"We've purposely put together a big squad which we believe will still compete and have a good season," he added. "We have enough quality to turn it round and we will.

"We're only a quarter of the way through the season and we are not that many points behind the team in sixth."

Robson was hit by a further blow yesterday when it was revealed record signing Ugo Ehiogu will miss at least five games.

The £8m centre-back, who limped off after five minutes of his Middlesbrough debut, said: "I've played for nine years with just one major injury and can't put into words how this feels.

"I was fit to start and raring to go with my new club."

Robson added: "It looks as though it's a three-week job, which is not only disappointing for us but disappointing for the lad.''

Ehiogu, the Premiership's most expensive English defender, is out of League games against Ipswich, Arsenal, Manchester United and Leicester and the Worthington Cup tie with Wimbledon.

Boro believe Alen Boksic will recover from ligament damage to play at Portman Road on Saturday.

Meanwhile, two of Boro's fringe players have passed each other at the doors of the Riverside Stadium as one loan spell came to an end and another began.

England Under-21 defender Robbie Stockdale has returned from a month at Division One strugglers Sheffield Wednesday after manager Paul Jewell opted instead to bring former Wimbledon striker Efan Ekoku back to England on a temporary basis from Swiss side FC Grasshoppers.

But 18-year-old full-back Stuart Parnaby, who made his first-team debut in the 2-1 Worthington Cup victory over Macclesfield Town on September 19, has joined Third Division Halifax Town for a month.

A versatile player who can operate either in defence or midfield, Parnaby has been a regular in the Boro reserves and the England Under-18 squad.

Halifax boss Paul Bracewell may decide to include him for tonight's home clash with York City