TONY PULIS has revealed Middlesbrough pulled out of two prospective transfer deals this week because it was felt the players under discussion would not have been moving to the club “for the right reasons”.

Boro have signed Rajiv van La Parra on a season-long loan from Huddersfield Town, but Pulis is hoping to make another two or three additions before the transfer window closes at the end of the month, with a wide attacker and a left-back regarded as key priorities.

Senior Boro officials have held a number of discussions this week, but while there was the possibility of at least two deals coming to fruition, Pulis opted to pull the plug on the talks.

The Boro boss was concerned about a number of issues that were raised, and is adamant he will only be sanctioning deals for players that are not moving to Middlesbrough simply to secure an increase in their salary.

“There’s a couple (of targets) that have moved away from us, where we thought we might have had a chance,” said Pulis, ahead of this afternoon’s game at Birmingham City. “They’ve moved away, but we understand the reasons why and we’re certainly not going to get involved in wasting loads of money on people that would maybe be coming for the wrong reasons.

“Why do deals not happen? Either they don’t want to come or the finances are too great, or they're playing a game and looking for other options at this present moment. They're the three reasons.

“I speak to people and find out where they are and where they're not. Neil (Bausor) speaks to the agents and takes care of that side of it. I try and find out as much as I can on the playing side of it. You do your due diligence, I do it more than most people.

“We’ve moved off and away from a couple of people, but there are people on the list that we are pursuing.”

As well as signing van La Parra, Pulis has also allowed Martin Braithwaite to leave Teesside in order to join Spanish side Leganes. The Danish forward made an unsuccessful attempt to move on last summer, and Pulis admits too many players have seen Middlesbrough as little more than a stepping stone to bigger and better things.

He is determined to abolish that mindset during his time in the North-East, insisting no one benefits from a constant churn of incomings and outgoings.

“I talk to Curtis (Fleming), and he played here for a long time,” said Pulis. “He's had experience of players coming in and going out and coming in and going out and coming in and going out. It seems to be a theme down the years of that happening, although I can’t really explain why because I wasn't here at the time.

“Given the opportunity and the time, then you’d hope that over a period of time you’d get things right and get a solid, hard-working group of players who can do the job.”

This month’s transfer window provides another opportunity to proceed with that process, although Pulis does not expect too much movement for another couple of weeks.

In an ideal world, clubs would conduct their business well ahead of the January 31 deadline. In reality, though, the vast majority of deals tend to go right to the wire.

“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. We’re pursuing them, and we hope we can get them over the line.”

Boro travel to St Andrew’s this afternoon to take on a Birmingham side led by one of their former managers, Garry Monk. The Blues are beset with off-field financial problems, but have lost just one of their last eight league games.

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

“Ryan and Flinty will miss out, which is a blow for us because those two are top players for this football club,” said Pulis. “But Danny Batth will come in and Dael will play, and those two have done exceptionally well as well.

“I’ve got great faith in Dael, I think eventually he’s going to be a top player for this club. We’ve trained really well this week, and hopefully we’re going there with a real good and confident spirit.” 

Monk has made a good job of stabilising things at St Andrew’s, having been dismissed as Boro boss just over 12 months ago.

“There was a lot of good players there,” said Pulis. “Harry (Redknapp) had spent quite a bit of money there, so there was good players. It’s a balanced team.

“Obviously, (Che) Adams has scored a lot of goals, and the lad that was here, (Lukas) Jutkiewicz, has done well. He didn’t score many goals at Middlesbrough, but he’s ended up scoring a lot of goals there. They’ve got that threat, but it’s about us and what our players do. It’s about making sure the players understand it’s going to be a really tough game.”

Middlesbrough (probable): Randolph; Fry, Ayala, Batth, Friend; Howson, Clayton, Besic; Downing, Hugill, Tavernier.