NEIL WARNOCK remains hopeful of completing a deal for free agent Duncan Watmore after the forthcoming international break.

Watmore, who was released from Sunderland after his contract on Wearside expired earlier this summer, has spent the last three weeks training with Middlesbrough’s first-team squad in an attempt to secure a short-term deal on Teesside.

Warnock is keen to sign the 26-year-old until January, but Boro have been reluctant to sign a deal until after the international break, which begins this weekend, and Watmore’s representatives are understood to have been contacted by a couple of overseas clubs looking to discuss a possible move.

The situation should be resolved in the next two weeks, and Warnock remains hopeful he will be able to come to an agreement that suits all parties.

“The situation hasn’t really changed,” said the Middlesbrough manager. “But I’m still hoping we can do something on that line after the international break.”

Warnock is also beginning to firm up his plans for the January transfer window, when he will be targeting a couple of loan moves for Premier League players who have found themselves on the sidelines in the first half of the season.

Yannick Bolasie, who almost joined Boro last month before a proposed season-long loan move from Everton broke down in the final hour of the transfer market, remains a target, and Warnock has also admitted he would be interested in a move for Poland international Kamil Grosicki, who is currently out of favour at West Brom.

“Absolutely, I’d have those two tomorrow,” he said. “And a few others! They’re the type of players I think would benefit from coming with us.”

Warnock’s immediate priority is this afternoon’s game with a Brentford side that currently sit two points below them in the Championship table.

Grant Hall will not be involved at Brentford’s new Community Stadium, but the centre-half returned to light training yesterday and should be available at the end of the international break.

Sam Morsy has a chance of making today’s game, although Warnock will be taking no chances with the midfielder, who has been struggling with a hamstring problem.

“Grant won’t be involved, but he is fit now,” he said. “He’s going to have two weeks of pre-season now.

“I don’t know about Morsy yet, we’ll have to have a look at him. You know what he’s like – he told me he was alright yesterday, but he never told me when he did it. I had to look at him feeling his hamstring before I realised what he’d done.

“He’s one of those lads I’m going to have to be careful of – we want to make sure he’s fit after that international break.”

Middlesbrough (4-5-1): Bettinelli; Dijksteel, Fry, McNair, Bola; Spence, Tavernier, Howson, Saville, Coulson; Assombalonga.