Chris Wilder is hoping Sheffield United do not stand on his way as he looks to bring a couple of his former stars to Middlesbrough, TEAMtalk has learned.
Wilder has assessed his new Middlesbrough squad and we understand he has informed sporting director Kieran Scott that new additions are required in the January window.
Wilder is set to switch to a back three with Middlesbrough. New faces will help to ease the transition, and Wilder is looking towards his former employers at Bramall Lane.
One player who Wilder is already targeting is defender Chris Basham. The 33-year-old played the majority of his 300-plus games in red and white under Wilder.
Basham is not in the plans of current boss Slavisa Jokanovic. As such, he will not stand in his way if a suitable deal is put on the table. But whether the Blades will do business with their former manager is another matter entirely.
Another player who Wilder would like to be reunited with is Oliver Burke – a player who Boro looked at earlier this year.
Again, he is not a key part of Jokanovic’s plans and Wilder would love a reunion.
Middlesbrough make Arsenal deal top priority
Meanwhile, Folarin Balogun may get his wish of a new challenge away from Arsenal after emerging as a top target for Middlesbrough, according to reports.
Aged 20, he is ready to step up and play more regularly after outgrowing the Premier League 2. It is unlikely he will be able to at the Emirates Stadium, though. Therefore, he could seek a loan move in January.
Balogun has openly admitted he is looking for a solution. He said recently: “I feel like I am ready for a new challenge.
Now, one option has emerged for the young forward. According to reports from The Sun over the weekend, Balogun is a top target for Middlesbrough in the Championship.
The Sun have revealed that Balogun is Wilder’s top target for the January transfer market – his first chance to shape his new squad. Although, he will face competition from his former employers in South Yorkshire.
Wilder has made the first moves though by going to watch Balogun in action for the England under-21s last week. He scored against Czech Republic on Thursday.