Middlesbrough expect a busy end to the loan market reveals Tony Pulis after cup victory

Tony Pulis is expecting a busy couple of days ahead of Friday's loan deadline.

Wednesday, 29th August 2018, 2:03 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th August 2018, 2:16 pm
Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis.

EFL clubs can sign players on loan up until 6pm on August 31, and Middlesbrough remain hopeful they can still push several deals over the line.

Boro defeated League One side Rochdale in the Carabao Cup last night, and when asked if he was expecting a busy end to the window, Pulis replied: “Yes. That’s why I don’t want to continue to talk, I want to get away. I’m hoping the next couple of days will be busy – in and out.

The Teessiders are reportedly close to agreeing a deal for Millwall midfielder George Saville, a player they tried to sign permanently a couple of weeks ago.

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Saville, 25, has operated as a box-to-box midfielder for most of his career, but would be a versatile asset who has played as a number 10 and full-back earlier in his career.

Pulis has also made it clear he hopes to sign another winger, following the departure of Adama Traore and Yannick Bolasie's decision to choose Aston Villa over Boro.

Pulis could also allow some players to leave on loan, despite his willingness to give youth a chance.

Last night Pulis made ten changes to his side, starting with academy graduates Enes Mahmutovic and Nathan Wood- Gordon, before handing a second-half debut to teenage midfielder Billal Brahimi.

And it was a decision which Pulis was keen to vindicate after the full-time whistle.

“They’ve got a team of men playing. People ask me why I want kids to go out and play football – they’ll get more out of that game tonight than from any academy game," said Pulis.

"In academy football, you just don’t get that pressure put on you and the physicality of a game like that. You need a strength of character to be able to deal with that physicality, and play your position under all circumstances.”

Ashley Fletcher, Harry Chapman and Marvin Johnson, who scored Boro's opener against the Dale, also featured, amid interest from other Championship clubs.

More worryingly for Boro fans, Martin Braithwaite is also being targeted, with Spanish sides Girona and Leganes eyeing up the Danish international.

After spending the second half of last season on loan at Bordeaux, Braithwaite, 27, has started all five of Boro's league games this campaign, scoring three goals.