MUHAMED BESIC has been told to 'keep it up' by Tony Pulis as the Middlesbrough manager starts to plot a permanent move for the Everton midfielder in the summer.

Besic is only six matches into his half-season loan at the Riverside Stadium but he has already made a huge impact, becoming something of a favourite with the fans too.

Middlesbrough have only lost one of those matches he has started since moving from Goodison Park, away at title contenders Cardiff City, and they have won four to propel themselves into a play-off place.

Pulis has been full of praise for the 25-year-old in recent weeks and will be keen to get something sorted on a full-time basis at the end of the season.

Promotion to the Premier League would clearly help Middlesbrough’s cause, knowing the Bosnian international still has three years to run on his contract and Everton will be looking for more than the £4.5m paid to Hungarian club Ferencvaros four years ago.

Pulis was reluctant to spend chairman Steve Gibson’s money during his first transfer window on Teesside because he appreciated how much cash was splashed under Garry Monk last summer.

However, a pre-season window would represent a fresh start for Pulis and adding Besic on a permanent basis would be high in his thinking if he continues to perform like he has since arriving from the Toffees.

Securing a return to the Premier League in May, via the play-offs as seems likeliest now, would also mean a boost to the finances available to invest in the squad, while the player is said to have settled in well and is enjoying his time in the North-East.

Besic played more than an hour of Saturday’s 3-1 win over Barnsley before Pulis decided to give him a break with the introduction of Lewis Baker, meaning Jonny Howson playing more of a withdrawn role alongside Adam Clayton.

By that time Besic had already been a pivotal part of Middlesbrough coasting into a three goal lead, displaying composure on the ball – even if there was a moment when he worried his manager by dribbling across his six yard box before eventually clearing.

Pulis said: "He's cool and calm, too many touches at times, but he's a good player and a great kid.

“He'd had problems with his hamstring in the last couple of days before the game and felt sore after last week’s game at Birmingham. If he said he wanted to rest we'd rest him.

“He didn't train but he said he was ready to go and he wanted to play it's a great attitude.”

Everton manager Sam Allardyce has also had his own future called into question in recent weeks, even though the former Sunderland manager has guided the team away from relegation trouble since taking over.

Allardyce would have been happy to offload Besic on a permanent basis in January but the offer from Pulis and Middlesbrough was deemed acceptable enough and it will be reviewed again in the summer.

Pulis and his medical team are keeping a close eye on Besic building up towards this Saturday’s trip to Brentford.

Middlesbrough do have the option of bringing captain Grant Leadbitter back into the mix after the completion of a two match suspension. Howson should be fine to play despite leaving the Riverside on Saturday with his hand wrapped in ice after swelling.

The Bees have confirmed that Danish defender Andreas Bjelland will not face Middlesbrough after suffering a calf problem in the defeat at Millwall.

Bjelland’s team-mate Florian Jozefzoon, who played well at the Riverside and against Sunderland, is still recovering from a gashed foot and they hope he will play.