Middlesbrough FC transfer rumours: Reported Celtic and Derby County target linked plus Premier League boss discusses loan move

We’re into the final five days of the January transfer window with Middlesbrough still hoping to bring in a couple more players before Friday’s 11pm deadline.

Monday, 27th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 27th January 2020, 6:05 am
Middlesbrough have been linked with a loan move for Leicester defender Filip Benkovic.
Middlesbrough have been linked with a loan move for Leicester defender Filip Benkovic.

The biggest priority for head coach Jonathan Woodgate is signing another centre-back, with a loan deal the most viable option for the Teessiders.

Boro are tracking several targets, and reports over the weekend linked Leicester outcast Filip Benkovic with a move to the Riverside.

According to the Daily Mail, the Croatian defender is ‘poised to join’ Boro if the Foxes can find a suitable replacement.

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Benkovic, 22, joined Leicester from Dinamo Zagreb for £13million in 2018 but is yet to make a Premier League appearance.

Boro’s Championship rivals Derby and Bristol City have also been linked with Benkovic, as have SPL champions Celtic.

Howe responds to Jack Simpson reports

Another player reportedly on Boro’s radar is Bournemouth defender Jack Simpson.

The 23-year-old has made just three Premier League appearances this term after breaking into the first team at the end of last season.

When asked about the defender ahead of tonight’s FA Cup meeting with Arsenal, Cherries boss Eddie Howe told the Bournemouth Echo: "I think Jack’s been really unlucky actually.

"He’s been in a difficult situation where we have needed him with the injuries we suffered in pre-season.

"We were possibly planning and looking to get him out on loan, to get him some games we feel, at this stage of the career, he needed.

"We couldn’t do that. It’s been frustrating for Jack because I think he’s at that stage where we’d love to get him games – we’d love to get him that experience he needs – the feeling of playing every week. But as you’ve seen this season, he’s come on and he’s impacted.

“The last league game against Arsenal he played left-back and without the performance from him in that position we might not have got a point – that could be a crucial point at the end of the season.”