YORKSHIRE clubs have been placed on potential transfer alert after Aitor Karanka revealed that several Middlesbrough players have expressed their desire to leave in January.
The Boro head coach, whose side do battle with rivals Burnley today, has revealed that departures are likely in the New Year, with several players beating a path to his door and revealing their intent to leave through a lack of game time.
While understandably refusing to divulge any further details, a number of Boro players have certainly found opportunities hard to come by this season – with Karanka revealing that the club have received inquiries.
Dimi Konstantopoulos, Tomas Mejias and Carlos de Pena are among several players already told that they can leave, while Karanka’s comments are bound to heighten speculation that Jordan Rhodes and David Nugent could also depart – with both having struggled for competitive action in the first half of 2016-17.
Any potential developments regarding Rhodes and Nugent are likely to be monitored by several White Rose clubs.
Nugent has been strongly linked with a move to Leeds United, while Hull City and Sheffield Wednesday are among several clubs who are reportedly keen on former Huddersfield Town forward Rhodes, along with the likes of Burnley, Celtic, Aston Villa, Norwich, Brighton and Derby.
Rhodes has started just two top-flight games for Boro this term, while Nugent is yet to start, making just four brief league appearances from the bench.
But any possible moves for the pair are likely to hinge on Boro lining up replacements first, with Karanka not expected to sanction any deals until cover is brought in for first-choice forward Alvaro Negredo.
Karanka said: “At the moment, we have 26 players in the squad, and I would like to finish January with 23 or 24, and with three keepers once again.
“The players who will leave will be the players who want to go because they are not playing here. I can understand that, but if they want to leave we have to bring in the right replacement. All the parts have to fit into place.”
Last six games: Burnley LLLWLL; Middlesbrough DWLLW.
Referee: C Pawson (West Yorkshire).
Last time: Burnley 1 Middlesbrough 1, April 19, 2016; Championship.