TONY PULIS admits Middlesbrough have had to remove “one or two” names from their wanted list after prospective deals collapsed earlier this week.

Boro have signed Rajiv van La Parra on a season-long loan from Huddersfield Town, but Pulis is hoping to sign at least another two or three players before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.

His two main priorities are another wide player and a left-back to provide competition for George Friend, but while Middlesbrough’s recruitment team have held discussions on a number of fronts in the last few days, it has proved a frustrating week.

“We've (got) targets, we know what we want,” said Pulis. “One or two have got away from us already but that's fine, that's what happens.

“We realise and recognise they're no longer in the frame but there's a list of players we are trying to get. We have to be certain that we can do those deals, that they're good for the club and for the team. That's the important thing.”

While van La Parra arrived within a couple of days of the transfer window opening, Pulis always expected it to prove difficult to sign players at the start of the month. Instead, he anticipates the usual flurry of late moves in the last few days of the window.

“I think generally most deals are done at the back end of the window,” he said. “The difficult thing is everyone wants to play their cards late on, nobody wants to show their hand early.

“It's always very difficult to get deals done in the first half of the window but like I say we've got targets.

“A couple have gone and you accept that, it's nobody's fault. But there are a couple still there and we're pursuing and we hope we can get them over the line.”

Boro travel to St Andrew’s tomorrow to take on a Birmingham side led by one of their former managers, Garry Monk, that have lost just one of their last eight league games.

Aden Flint and Ryan Shotton will miss out on tomorrow’s game, meaning Dael Fry is likely to start at right-back with Danny Batth returning to the heart of the back four.

“Flint and Shotton won’t play, which is a blow, but that’s about it,” said Pulis. “I still think Rudy (Gestede) needs a game to get back (to full sharpness), in fact there were one or two that played against Peterborough that probably still need games.”