Middlesbrough battle with fellow Championship clubs for Sunderland man

Date published: Wednesday 10th November 2021 11:17 - Ben Rooth

Sunderland's Tom Flanagan battles for the ball against Charlton.

Middlesbrough are interested in signing Sunderland defender Tom Flanagan, per a report.

The 30-year-old has been a mainstay in Lee Johnson’s side so far this campaign. Featuring in 14 out of 15 league games this season, he’s helped his side sit fifth in the league ahead of the international break. Since his arrival from Burton in 2018, the Black Cats faithful have had mixed opinions on the centre-back.

According to Football Insider, Middlesbrough are not alone in wanting the Northern Irishman. Preston and Bristol City are reportedly the other two Championships clubs who are chasing the defender.

Boro have had a shocking time with injuries so far this season. In the treatment room, they have three defenders. Marc Bola, Darnell Fisher and Dael Fry are all set for long spells on the sidelines.

However, there was finally some positive news on the injury front. Grant Hall returned to the starting 11 in their 1-1 draw away at West Brom on Saturday. The former Queens Park Rangers player missed six games due to pulling up in training with a knock.

New manager Chris Wilder has already stated he will be looking to bolster his squad’s options during the January transfer window.

Wilder, who won promotion with Sheffield United, will have time over the international break to assess his squad with Boro currently on a three-game winless run.

Sunderland may look to cash in on Flanagan, who is out of contract in the summer. Playing 57 times in the Championship for Burton, he would bring good experience to Boro’s backline.

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Chris Wilder confirms transfer plans

Middlesbrough boss Chris Wilder has declared he already has a good idea of which positions he needs to improve ahead of January.

There are nine games between now and the transfer window. The former Sheffield United manager will be hoping his side climb closer to the play-off places.

As Championship football is currently at a standstill due to the international break, Wilder has time to assess every part of his squad.

Speaking to Teeside Live, he said: “I come with a good idea already but we’re assessing it 24/7 already.

“That’s in partnership with Kieran because his background is in recruitment so obviously we’ve had lengthy discussions about where we are.

“It’s an ongoing process all of the time and it will never stop.

“The squad is a little unbalanced which we will try and rectify and construct a squad that has got competition and the characteristics that I want physically and mentally and be able to play in a way tactically how I want to see it.”

Whilst at the Blades, he was known for his expansive football. Boro fans will be hoping he can bring an attacking style of play to the Riverside.

READ MORE: New Middlesbrough boss Wilder opens up on ‘most important’ decision of career

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