Middlesbrough are monitoring the status of Jeff Hendrick as they seek out a further loan deal this month.
Chris Wilder has already been busy this window securing four deals. Both Caolan Boyd-Munce and Riley McGree joined permanently to bolster Wilder’s midfield options. Premier League players Aaron Connolly and Florian Balogun have also joined on loan deals.
Now, talkSPORT football correspondent Alex Crooks claims the side are chasing a third loan signing in the form of Hendrick.
However, the Irishman’s game time has been limited over the past year. Since Eddie Howe’s arrival, Hendrick has made one substitute appearance, spending most of his time on the bench.
He is currently sat behind Jonjo Shelvey, Isaac Hayden, and the newly adapted Joelinton on Newcastle’s midfield depth chart. So, an exit seems imminent for the 29-year-old.
Hendrick would help Middlesbrough’s current midfield options as they chase promotion. Boro have already signed McGree and Boyd-Munce, as well as boasting Marcus Tavernier, Matt Crooks, and Jonny Howson in their engine room.
Wilder hasn’t ruled out more incomings in January, but he has admitted the club may need to balance the squad before signing any players.
Speaking to Teesside Live, he said: “I don’t want a bloated squad either. Ideally, I’d want to manage a squad of around 23-24 players with three goalkeepers. That gives us good balance – left and right footers – and competition for places.
“Of course there are going to be players within that who play multiple positions but are good options.
“And that’s what we’re trying to achieve and we’ve said all along. Hopefully when the window shuts, that will be us and we’ll be in a lot better place than when it opened.”
Marcus Browne set to leave for Charlton Athletic
One of the players that could depart Middlesbrough is Marcus Browne.
The midfielder is reportedly undergoing a medical at the club today, and he will sign on-loan until the end of the 2021/22 campaign.
The Boro man has already played impressed in League One during a previous spell with Oxford United. Browne scored four goals and four assists during the 2019/20 campaign, before being derailed by the pandemic.
He hasn’t played for over a year due to a knee injury, but Charlton will be hoping that Browne can find his form and lift them towards the playoffs in League One.
By Keiran Lawler