Middlesbrough boss happy but wants more quality

Aitor Karanka
Aitor Karanka

Aitor Karanka says his summer signings have brought “more quality” to Middlesbrough - even though he is looking to add another top-level coup.

Boro are understood to be close to agreeing a deal with Valencia for ex-Man City striker Alvaro Negredo in the next 48 hours.

The La Liga outfit have seemingly allowed the 30-year-old to leave for the Riverside though it’s how he leaves which is causing the transfer to drag out.

Valencia are believed to want a sizeable fee for Negredo while Boro want him on an initial season-long loan deal with a view to a permanent move NEXT summer.

With former Barcelona and Spain keeper Victor Valdes already having agreed a two-year contract, it would represent another notable piece of business for Boro.

Karanka though told Boro’s website that he is happy with his shopping to date.

Midfielder Marten de Roon made his first appearance in Saturday’s 6-0 friendly win at York while Bernardo Espinosa watched from the stands at Bootham Crescent.

Danish star Viktor Fisher was absent, having been given an extra week’s recovery following international duty, while Valdes was not included.

“The important part of the team is here this year,” said Karanka. “We have more players in at this stage than we did last season, and we have a strong group of players I believe.

“They are bringing us more quality. I am more than pleased with what we have done and we have to keep going.

“We have another week to work on the pitch and then another game against Doncaster before we go to Marbella.”