MIDDLESBROUGH head into the final day of the transfer window hoping to sign a striker – but the club hierarchy are adamant they will not forced into a panic buy with a viable deal not having presented itself so far this month.

The Teessiders have made three signings so far this month, bringing in Finn Azaz on a permanent transfer from Aston Villa, Luke Ayling on a loan deal from Leeds United and Luke Thomas on a temporary switch from Leicester City.

They will lose Morgan Rogers ahead of tomorrow’s 11pm deadline, with the forward having spent today in the Midlands completing a medical and tying up personal terms with Aston Villa.

Boro will receive an up-front fee of around £10m for Rogers, who was signed from Manchester City for just over £1m in the summer, with the total deal potentially worth £16m once add-ons are included.

Rogers’ departure robs Michael Carrick of one of his attacking options, with the youngster having led the line in the Carabao Cup semi-final second-leg defeat to Chelsea.

However, the Teessiders still have Josh Coburn and Emmanuel Latte Lath on their books – albeit that the duo are currently struggling with injury issues – with Marcus Forss and Matt Crooks also able to play up front if required.

With Carrick tending to play with a solitary striker as part of his preferred formation, there is a shared belief within Boro’s recruitment team that the club can cope without another forward for the remainder of the season. That would then enable the Teessiders to devote their full budget to the summer, when there is likely to be a much wider pool of available forwards on the market.


There remains a chance of completing a deal in the next 24 hours, but it will only be for a player who can improve the current squad and is available for a fee that the Boro hierarchy believes represents fair value for money. So far this month, the strikers the club have targeted have either been unavailable or heavily overpriced.

There could be a couple of fringe departures on deadline-day, with Alex Gilbert and Matthew Hoppe potentially available for loan deals. Paddy McNair’s future remains somewhat uncertain, with the defender having entered the final six months of his current deal.

Rogers’ exit is on the brink of being confirmed, with Aston Villa boss Unai Emery confident the 21-year-old can successfully slot into his first-team squad despite his lack of experience at Premier League level.

“He is a young player with potential,” said Emery, in the wake of his side’s defeat to Newcastle United on Tuesday night. “He can adapt with our style of play. Hopefully, he is signing with us and we can try to exploit his qualities as a player. He has potential. We are excited to work with him.”