Leeds risk second Middlesbrough raid as Carrick adds defender to wish list alongside Nott’m Forest leader

Charlie Cresswell and Joe Worrall either side of the Middlesbrough badge

Middlesbrough targets Charlie Cresswell and Joe Worrall

Middlesbrough want to sign a new centre-back and have shortlisted Charlie Cresswell from Leeds United and Joe Worrall from Nottingham Forest, according to a report.

Michael Carrick is keen to add another defender to his squad in January after losing Darragh Lenihan to an ankle injury. In turn, Middlesbrough could try to arrange a loan deal for one of their targets.

This is according to The Sun on Sunday, which claims Cresswell and Worrall are the two players under consideration by Middlesbrough at this stage.

A swoop for Cresswell would be the second time Middlesbrough have raided Leeds this season after they also took Sam Greenwood on loan in the summer.

TEAMtalk has revealed this weekend that the attacking midfielder’s chances of staying at the Riverside Stadium hinge on whether or not Middlesbrough can gain promotion.

Greenwood has also become of interest to Brentford, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Leicester City, Southampton and West Ham United.

For the time being, he will be focusing on the remainder of the season with Middlesbrough, where he could link up with fellow Leeds prospect Cresswell.

However, the chances of Leeds sanctioning a second player exit to Middlesbrough while both clubs are competing for promotion to the Premier League are said to be slim.

With that in mind, Middlesbrough are mulling over Worrall as a target too. Although still captain of Nottingham Forest, the 26-year-old only started their first five Premier League matches this season and has either been on the bench or out of the squad since.

Premier League loan might be easier

Given his situation, Worrall might be more readily available on loan. He would bring promotion-winning experience to Middlesbrough if he was to join.

Worrall is five years older than Cresswell, who spent last season on loan at Millwall from Leeds to gain further experience in the second tier until his parent club suffered relegation from the Premier League.

Since his return to the fold, Cresswell has earned six appearances for Leeds, but Daniel Farke has only started him once in the league so far.

Cresswell is under contract with Leeds until 2027, which still gives them time to nurture him. Meanwhile, Worrall’s contract with Nottingham Forest is valid until 2026.

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