HEAD COACH Aitor Karanka admits Middlesbrough’s attacking talisman Gaston Ramirez is currently hedging his bets regarding his long-term future.
The Uruguayan play-maker has proved an inspired signing and has produced several classy displays since arriving at the club in the January transfer window on loan from Southampton.
Ramirez, 25, who has also weighed in with six goals for Boro and become a firm favourite with fans, is a free agent at the end of this season, but Karanka acknowledges that his bid to sign him permanently is likely to hinge on them being promoted back to the big time.
On Ramirez, who joined the Saints from Bologna for £12m, Karanka said: “I would like to sign him, but I can understand that he wants to wait because if, at the end of the season, we don’t achieve promotion he is going to get offers for sure from other places.
“In Italy, especially, he was brilliant. It was nice for me in January because he had good offers from Italy but he wanted to come to play for us and that was the main thing for me.
“A player like him is a big name in Italy and he wanted to stay here in England and play with us and for us that was a really good thing. Now he’s showing that he’s a player who can play in this league.”
Boro have revealed their 2014-15 annual accounts, with figures showing a big drop in annual pre-tax losses to £9m.
The deficit for the year to June 30, 2015, was down on the £20.4m loss in the previous 12 months.
The club saw revenue soar 60 per cent from £12.8m to £20.5m as their coffers were boosted by successful cup runs, rising home attendances, and the unsuccessful play-off final trip to Wembley.
Ex-Preston forward David Nugent is vying with Jordan Rhodes to start against his former club this afternoon.