MIDDLESBROUGH manager Garry Monk is ready to test Nottingham Forest’s resolve by making a move for striker Britt Assombalonga after Jason Cummings’ move to the City Ground was completed.

One of Monk’s priorities is to strengthen his attacking options after inheriting a squad which has lost Alvaro Negredo after the completion of his loan from Valencia.

The Northern Echo:

And the Boro boss is hoping the arrival of Cummings could heighten the chances of Forest offloading Assombalonga.

There is plenty of interest in the 24-year-old, who scored 14 goals in a struggling Nottingham Forest side even though there was a feeling he was not even at the peak of his powers after injury problems.

Tentative Premier League interest will make it hard for Boro, while Forest manager Mark Warburton has not ruled out doing everything to keep him following a change of ownership at the club.

But Boro chairman Steve Gibson is looking to give Monk the best possible chance of securing a quick return to the Premier League and Assombalonga is high in the list attacking targets.

A £15m valuation has already been suggested for the former Peterborough United frontman who has scored 30 goals in 65 appearances for Forest.

He has been tipped for even greater things provided he can stay fit and has proven himself at Championship level.

Norwich City striker Cameron Jerome has long been admired by Boro's recruitment team and also remains a viable - and much cheaper – alternative.

Assombalonga still has four more years to run on the contract he signed last summer at the City Ground, while the more experienced Jerome has two seasons to run on his existing deal.

Monk is looking at all areas and weighing up options to improve his squad in a variety of positions, while he is also aware there is Premier League interest in some of his players.

But Gibson is in no rush or mood to sell to reduce his squad unless he feels necessary and essential to Monk’s own plans.

Monk is still to make progress on the recruitment front, although he is thought to be a lot closer to make the changes to his backroom team that he wants.

Boro expect to confirm James Beattie and Darryl Flahavan have followed him to the Riverside from Elland Road, casting doubts over the futures of Steve Agnew, Jonathan Woodgate and Leo Percovich. Pep Clodet, however, is unlikely to move from Yorkshire.