Championship rumours: Injury boosts for Middlesbrough and Leeds United | Aston Villa target still unsure on Villains move | Updates on Birmingham City, West Bromwich Albion, Stoke City

FOURTEEN Championship clubs are in action tonight - but that hasn't stopped off the pitch speculation.

Tuesday, 18th September 2018, 12:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th September 2018, 12:32 pm
Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis

Reports today say Middlesbrough and Leeds United are set to be handed big injury boosts this week while a long term Aston Villa target remains unsure on a move to Villa Park.

There are also injury updates for West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City. Meanwhile, Bolton Wanderers, Norwich City and Preston North End also hit the headlines.

Here in the Championship gossip in full:

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Middlesbrough are close to seeing the return of Rudy Gestede from injury ahead of a congested fixture period. Boro play six times in the next three weeks. (Hartlepool Mail)

Leeds United duo Gaetano Berardi and Jamie Shackleton are “close” to returning to Leeds United’s first team but not in time for tonight’s Championship clash with Preston North End. (Yorkshire Post)

John Terry is still ‘undecided’ as to whether he will play on after turning down a move to Spartak Moscow. Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri recently opened the door to a coaching role for the Aston Villa target. (BirminghamLive)

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Middlesbrough striker Rudy Gestede closes in on first-team return

Aston Villa midfielder Conor Hourihane believes the club is still suffering a playoff final hangover. Villa missed out on a return to the Premier League following a defeat to Fulham at Wembley in May. (Express and Star)

Ritchie De Laet has revealed forgotten Aston Villa man Ross McCormack played an important role in convincing him to move to Australia. (BirminghamLive)

Bolton Wanderers defender Stephen Darby has been forced to retire after being diagnosed with Motor Neutrone Disease. (Various)

West Brom could welcome back James Morrison when they face Bristol City this evening. Wes Hoolahan is in line to make his debut after signing on Friday. (BirminghamLive)

Stoke City will be without Sam Clucas and James McClean for the visit on Swansea City tonight. (BBC Sport)

The defensive midfield role of Mortiz Leitner can help fill James Maddison's boots, suggests Norwich City manager Daniel Farke. Maddison left to join Leicester City in the summer. (Eastern Press Daily)

Alex Neil is adamant Preston North End have not become a poor side overnight as he plots a course out of the lower reaches of the Championship. (Lancashire Evening Post)

Phil Parkinson is pleased with what he has seen from new signing Christian Doidge despite Bolton Wanderers' 2-1 loss to QPR on Saturday. (The Bolton News)