Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate has expressed an interest in signing Manchester City winger Patrick Roberts on loan in the January window.
According to Teesside Live, upwardly-mobile Boro are looking to strengthen in midfield ahead of a possible late push for the play-offs – and Woodgate believes Roberts could be a perfect fit.
The winger is currently out on loan at Premier League side Norwich City but is struggling for game time in Daniel Farke’s squad – reports suggest that Roberts is expected to be recalled by City in January.
Middlesbrough will have to fight off some big names to land the signing Roberts with table-topping Leeds United also reported to be considering an approach after they saw Jack Clarke recalled by Tottenham.
Leeds have a good relationship with City thanks to Bielsa’s links with Pep Guardiola and the Whites have already taken Jack Harrison back for a second season’s loan from the reigning Premier League champions.
Woodgate was keen to stress that negotiations were in their infancy but has confirmed Roberts is a prime January target for the club.
“He’s a very good player, a very very talented player but let’s see if we can get something done, nothing is done yet. If it does, we’ll let you know. He’s a player I like,” he admitted.
“Let’s wait and see. I don’t want to say anything on it at the minute, it’s a long way to go.”
The club may need to recruit in defence as well as attack with centre-back Daniel Ayala expected to be out for some time after coming off injured in Wednesday’s win against Preston.
Boro will look to take advantage of the loan market to bolster their chances of making a late surge for the play-offs.
The Teessiders have been in fine form over the festive period winning four games on the bounce – pushing them from relegation candidates to within seven points of the play-off places.
Woodgate insists Boro will be hoping to retain the players linked with a move away from the Riverside, including injured duo Darren Randolph, linked with a return to West Ham, and Britt Assombalonga, regularly linked with a move away.
“Hopefully, I’d like to think they’ll stay. When they come back we’ll be an even better team,” said Woodgate.