Middlesbrough to step up defender search with Cardiff City and ex-Sheffield United man on Neil Warnock's radar
Middlesbrough are set to step up their search for a left-sided defender to bring more balance to their squad.
The Teessiders have seen a bid rejected for Cardiff’s Ciaron Brown, who can play at centre-back and left-back, and have been exploring a move for former Sheffield United defender Kean Bryan.
Boro have been short of options on the left side of defence with Marc Bola still absent, while Hayden Coulson has been sidelined with a knock and is seemingly set to join Ipswich on loan.
During a pre-season friendly defeat at York, Warnock was forced to play Djed Spence as left-wing-back in a 3-4-2-1 formation due to a lack of options.
“We're not too bad at the back, but I'm desperate for another left footer,” said Warnock after the match. “You can see that tonight
“We're all lop-sided really. It's so natural to have a left sider in those areas. We have another couple of weeks yet so hopefully.”
The Boro boss added: “We need a left sider, it just gives you that natural balance. Djed tried and played in that position but he's just filling in really.
“I didn't really want to go with a winger as such.”
Brown is heading into the final year of his contract at Cardiff, yet Bluebirds boss Mick McCarthy is reluctant to sell the player to a Championship rival.
McCarthy told WalesOnline: “There are three things that can happen there, I guess
"I don't want to sell Browny, I've offered him a new contract and I'd like him to stay.
"Neil, yes, I've spoken to Neil, he's made an offer. Nowhere near enough.
"Browny is in his last year. So if Neil wants to offer something that's anywhere near our valuation, even though the player has only got 12 months to run, then we may have to sell him. We don't want him to go on a free transfer.
"If not, he'll stay here on the contract he's on until the end of the season.
"I expect he will play and continue to play and compete just like he always would."
The other area Warnock is keen to strengthen is up front, with the Teessiders believed to be in talks with Brazlian club Flamengo over a move for Rodrigo Muniz.
Boro have been scouting the South American market, with chairman Steve Gibson willing to gamble on signing players from overseas.
Midfielder Martin Payero is expected to complete his move to the Riverside following his involvement at the Tokyo Olympics with Argentina and has held talks with Warnock.
When asked how many more signings he thinks Boro need this summer, Warnock replied: “It changes every half an hour.
“We have a few problems which we have to overcome. I still have to try and find players.
“We're not good enough as a squad at the minute, we know that. Steve is trying his best to help us out.
“We keep getting different problems, you'll find out in the next few weeks we've had a few more. We just have to keep going really.”