A QUEUE of Football League clubs are weighing up a January move for Middlesbrough’s out-of-favour striker David Nugent.

The former Leicester City frontman has attracted strong interest from the second tier, where promotion chasing clubs are among those keeping an eye on his situation.

Nugent would be allowed to move on next month if the deal was right for all parties after finding himself on the periphery following promotion to the Premier League.

The 31-year-old has not started a game in the league this season and the last of four substitute outings was at Everton on September 17.

His only start was in the EFL Cup defeat at Fulham a few weeks earlier when he found the net, but he has found himself behind Alvardo Negredo, in particular, and Jordan Rhodes since then.

Rhodes’ situation is similar, with Celtic and Aston Villa among the clubs considering a move for him when the transfer window opens next month.

The finances of a deal for Rhodes, who only signed in a deal worth £13m last January, are more complicated, though, despite the possibility of swap deals.

Nugent still has a further 18 months to run on the contract he signed when he moved to the Riverside from Leicester in August 2015.

He has a reputation for scoring goals regularly in the Championship having impressed for Bury, Preston, Portsmouth, Burnley and Leicester before heading to Teesside.

Middlesbrough are aware of interest ahead of the transfer window opening and it is understood clubs battling in and around the top six are keen on having him in their ranks.

His former club Preston as well as Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday are among those to have mentioned him, although North-East neighbours Newcastle United are looking elsewhere.

Boro are looking to make additions during the January window and Karanka has already had discussions with his recruitment team to discuss targets. A striker is on the agenda, particularly as Nugent and Rhodes could be moved on.

Boro have started life back in the Premier league quite brightly and last weekend’s home win over Swansea City has given them a four-point cushion to the play-off zone.

Karanka is keen to build on that over the festive period when they will face Burnley on Boxing Day and then Manchester United on New Year’s Eve, before the window opens.

The trip to Burnley, who won the Championship last season ahead of Middlesbrough, will be a tough task given how Sean Dyche’s men have collected 16 points from 27 at home; whereas they are yet to win away from Turf Moor.

Clarets goalkeeper Tom Heaton said: “We start with Middlesbrough on Boxing Day and it’s one we’re all looking forward to. Turf Moor has been a real fortress with the fans behind us. It’s been excellent so far. We’ll go in there to give everything we’ve got to come away with three points.

“We’re just going in to every game trying to win it. We won’t look on too grand a scale at this moment in time. We’ll prepare for Middlesbrough, we’ll give them a healthy respect as ever and make sure we impact the game as we usually do.

“It has been excellent. The important thing has been away from home and trying to get that sorted. We need to pick up some results away from home, we can’t keep relying on our home form, but it has been a good start to the season.”