MIDDLESBROUGH have inquired about a season-long loan for Baba Rahman, but Chelsea are still to decide what to do with the Ghanaian defender.

Rahman joined the Blues in 2015 in a deal that was reportedly worth £22m, but his Stamford Bridge career has not exactly gone to plan.

The left-back made his only senior Chelsea appearances under Jose Mourinho in the 2015-16 campaign, and since then, he has had a succession of loan spells away from West London.

Two stints in the Bundesliga with Schalke preceded loan periods in France, with Reims, and Spain, with Real Mallorca, but Rahman struggled to make much of an impact at any of his temporary homes.

He returned to Chelsea for pre-season training this summer, but the signing of Ben Chilwell to complement a left-back pool that already features Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieiri means he does not feature in Frank Lampard’s plans for the current campaign and he has been working with the club’s Under-23s in the last few weeks.

Chelsea officials had lined up a couple of continental loan moves, but they failed to come to fruition before the overseas transfer window closed on Monday, meaning they cannot be resurrected until January at the earliest.

Rahman’s best chance of competing for a first-team place in the next two months will come via a loan move to the Championship, and Middlesbrough are one of around half-a-dozen clubs to have been touch with the hierarchy at Stamford Bridge.

Neil Warnock has three left-back options on his books at the moment – Marvin Johnson, Marc Bola and Hayden Coulson – but he sees the latter as more of an attacking midfielder, and the fact he has chopped and changed between the first two in the opening month of the season suggests he is not entirely convinced by either.

Rahman, who could also play as the left of three centre-halves, would almost certainly become Boro’s new first-choice if he was to agree to a move to Teesside, but a number of other Championship clubs are also hoping to pull off a deal. Watford are known to have made a formal offer to Chelsea officials, while Derby County, who have successfully loaned players from Chelsea in the past, have also expressed an interest.

The loan window for Championship clubs closes at 5pm on Friday, October 16, and it is anticipated that Rahman’s future will be resolved at the start of next week.

Boro will confirm the re-signing of Patrick Roberts in the next few days, with the attacking midfielder having successfully passed a medical ahead of his season-long switch from Manchester City.

Roberts’ return will significantly increase Boro’s attacking options, but while Warnock is hoping to add Rahman to his defensive ranks, he continues to stand by his assertion that it would be wrong to demand extra investment from Steve Gibson given the ongoing uncertainty about when supporters will be readmitted to Football League grounds.

“I agreed to stay because I thought with four or five good players, we’d have a real good chance,” said Warnock. “But with finances as they are because of what’s happening with Covid, I don’t think any managers can demand this, that and the other. We’ve got to be more responsible.”