NEIL WARNOCK admits he will be reluctant to take a gamble on an untried youngster this month, and will instead be focusing his transfer attention on experienced players who can slot straight into his starting line-up.

The Middlesbrough manager would like to make a couple of additions to his attacking ranks ahead of the transfer deadline on February 1, with wide players capable of making a goalscoring impact in the final third his priority.

However, while he was linked with Tottenham youngster Jack Clarke this week, he does not feel adding an untried 20-year-old to the ranks is the right way to go.

Instead, he will be targeting players who have proven they can handle the cut and thrust of the Championship, with Everton’s Yannick Bolasie still regarded as a viable option.

“I don’t want to be disrespectful to Jack, and I’m sure he’s a very good player, but I’ve not seen anything of him,” said Warnock. “The type I’m looking at are players who are probably going to come straight into the team and make a difference.

“The recruitment guys have given us names abroad, but I don’t think really it’s the time to be going abroad either. If we can get one in from over here (that would be great), maybe two depending on whether we might have the odd one leaving. I could maybe do a swap deal to bring someone in, I might consider that as well. You just don’t know in the window.”

Warnock has been speaking to a couple of Premier League managers this week, but neither was especially keen to allow anyone to leave at such an early stage of the window.

The Boro boss had previously expressed a desire to make additions at the start of January, but understands why it has proved impossible to get deals off the ground.

“The managers are not wanting to do anything with the players until later in the window,” he said. “One particular manager said, ‘I want to wait to see if I sell this player before I think about him going’, and you can understand that.

“If I was a Premier League manager, I wouldn’t want to be in a rush to get everybody out because you just don’t know the injuries you’re going to get. We’ve just got to get the right ones in if we can.”

The one piece of business that did go through this week saw Duncan Watmore sign a new two-and-half year deal to commit himself to the Riverside until the summer of 2023.

“I was never worried because I always thought, if he didn’t sign it, it would be his loss,” said Warnock. “He’s never going to enjoy himself as much as he will playing for me and with this group of lads.

“He told me he wanted to sign from day one, and I think he’s earned it. There's not many players would have done what he did, coming on a three or four-eek trial. He’s improved week by week and I think he’ll contribute over the next few years.”