TONY PULIS was left extremely frustrated by Middlesbrough’s failure to strengthen his promotion-chasing squad further when the window closed last night.

The Boro boss had hoped to follow up the earlier acquisitions of Rajiv van la Parra and John Obi Mikel by bringing in a couple of forward players and a new full-back.

Instead the only activity concluded on deadline day was to let youngsters George Miller and Stephen Walker leave for Barnsley and MK Dons respectively. Ben Liddle also went to Forest Green.

Pulis has made no secret of his desire to add to his forward line, having regularly outlined over the last few months that he was keen to bring in extra pace and power in attack.

In the end he was left disappointed because Boro have actually finished the window with less first team players to call on than what he started with.

The Northern Echo:

There are believed to have been discussions about signing wingers Jacob Murphy, Kamil Grosicki and Adama Traore.

Wolves weren’t keen to let Traore go so early in his Molineux career, Hull wanted £8m for Grosicki or players in exchange and Newcastle’s Murphy is understood to have expressed a preference to join West Brom who were willing to pay a loan fee.

Sources close to Everton’s Yannick Bolasie had suggested he had expressed a willingness to discuss a move to the Riverside after turning them down in August, but in the end Middlesbrough didn’t go back for him; instead he went to talk to Anderlecht.

Boro are believed to be keeping an eye on their spending, outlined by Pulis numerous times despite a claim he has made a transfer profit since taking over, and that explains why things haven’t moved on more this month.

Van la Parra, yet to start in the Championship and a player who didn’t figure against Newport in the FA Cup last week, is the only attacking addition.

And Pulis has actually got less options now than he started with on January 1 because of the departures of Grant Leadbitter (Sunderland), Martin Braithwaite (Leganes) and Harry Chapman (Blackburn).

To further frustrate the manager, he can’t start with Stewart Downing because of a clause in the winger’s contract that will see him handed an extension if he makes his 23rd league start.

Downing has had further talks with the club’s hierarchy in a bid to thrash out a compromise but that was not reached. When Boro head to West Brom tomorrow both parties will be in the same situation.

Just days ago club skipper Leadbitter was allowed to join Sunderland, while defender Danny Batth was returned to Wolves in order to complete a £3.5m switch to Stoke City.

There was plenty of interest in Britt Assombalonga before the deadline but his wage on Teesside combined with a hefty transfer fee, given he only moved from Nottingham Forest for £15m 18 months ago, made it hard for clubs to do business.

Another striker, Rudy Gestede, was wanted by Millwall and Ipswich but he turned them both down after being allowed to discuss terms and now he has remained at the Riverside until the end of the season at least.

Young forward Miller, who moved to Boro from Bury 18 months ago, ended his Bradford loan so he could complete a £250,000 transfer to Barnsley.

And 18-year-old Walker, highly-rated, was rewarded for signing a new four-and-a-half year deal at the Riverside by heading to MK Dons on loan.