Exclusive: Middlesbrough plotting to sign US international Vazquez but face stiff competition from Euro clubs

Pete O'Rourke

Middlesbrough are plotting a January move for FC Cincinnati and USA international Brandon Vazquez, TEAMtalk understands.

Boro boss Michael Carrick has made a new striker one of his top priorities in the January transfer window and Vazquez figures highly on his wanted list.

Vazquez has impressed for club and country over the last 18 months with the powerful forward attracting interest from a number of European clubs.

The 25-year-old has been instrumental in FC Cincinnati’s success this season with the side finishing top of the Eastern Conference standings.

Vazquez has netted 16 goals and provided two assists in 39 games across all competitions this season off the back of scoring 18 goals and having eight assists last season.

Vazquez has openly admitted he would be interested in a winter move to Europe once the MLS campaign is finished and Middlesbrough are ready to offer him that opportunity.

However, the Championship club could face stiff competition for Vazquez’s signature with several English and German clubs weighing up moves for the attacker.

Middlesbrough have been short of a prolific goalscorer this season since the departure of last season’s talisman Chuba Akpom with Riley McGree currently the leading scorer in Carrick’s side with just five goals.

Carrick is aware they need to improve up front if they are to boost their hopes of winning promotion back to the Premier League and the Teesside club have made regular checks on Vazquez this season.

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Carrick in line for new deal

The Boro hierarchy will no doubt be happy to green light transfer requests from the boss as they look to tie him down to a new deal. TEAMtalk revealed that the club are looking to open talks with the manager over a new deal.

The boss’ current contract runs until 2025 after joining the Championship side just over 12 months ago. The former Man Utd man arrived in Middlesbrough in October last year, saving the club from relegation and also leading them on an unlikely promotion charge.

So far this season the 42-year-old has taken charge of 17 Championship matches so far, with 11 wins, three draws and seven losses. They sit 12th in the second division.

Carrick ended his playing career back in 2018 and worked as a coach under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as well as Jose Mourinho and has proven himself as Middlesbrough manager after narrowly missing out on promotion last term.

Carrick’s Boro side were narrowly beaten 1-0 by Coventry City in the Championship play-off semi-final after finishing fourth in the league, five points behind Luton Town who were eventually promoted.

West Ham have been linked with a move for Carrick, should they choose to part ways with David Moyes when his contract expires at the end of the season. It is unclear whether the London club will be offering their current manager fresh terms, but there have been reports that technical director Tim Steidten is keen on a younger, more exciting manager and Carrick could fit that criteria.

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