NEIL WARNOCK is looking at both Ciaron Brown and Kean Bryan as he looks to bolster his squad ahead of the start of the Championship season.

The Middlesbrough manager has had a busy pre-season, but admits he is short of defensive options, particularly at left-back.

With Marc Bola and Hayden Coulson both currently unavailable – the latter is still expected to leave Boro at some stage before the end of the transfer window – Marcus Tavernier had to line up at left-back in Friday’s friendly win at Plymouth.

Brown is an option to fill the position, with the 23-year-old expected to leave Cardiff City this summer despite having been recalled by the Bluebirds from a loan spell at Scottish side Livingston for the second half of last season.

“We are looking for another left-sided player,” said Warnock. “And he (Brown) is one of three lads that we’re looking at, at the minute. We’re a bit short on that left side, and I think you’re asking a bit too much of Pelts (Lee Peltier).

“He can do the right and centre, but you’re asking a bit much of him to be on the left too.

“It’s nice to have a natural left footer, and you saw (at Plymouth) we’re short in that area.”

Bryan is another defensive option currently interesting the Boro boss, with Sheffield United having effectively withdrawn their contract offer to the 24-year-old, whose previous deal at Bramall Lane expired last month.

Blades boss Slavisa Jokanovic does not see Bryan being part of his plans next season, a stance that has opened the door for Boro to make a move.

West Brom have also been heavily linked with Bryan, a former England Under-20 international who can play in a variety of defensive positions or in defensive midfield.

Boro play their penultimate pre-season game tomorrow evening when they make the short trip to York City’s LNER Stadium.