Middlesbrough transfer news: Tony Pulis handed setback in pursuit of £2million striker
While the summer transfer window is still months away, Middlesbrough have reportedly already been handed a setback.
Attacking reinforcements are thought to be high on Tony Pulis' wishlist in the summer after he failed to secure his desired targets during the winter transfer window.
One target chased by the Boro boss during January was Birmingham City striker Isaac Vassell - who was believed to be available for around £2million.
While Middlesbrough were keen on the 25-year-old, it is believed that his injury record caused some concern among the club's hierarchy.
However, the Sun now claim that the Teessiders are set to return with a bid for Vassell in the summer with Pulis keen to nail-down targets during the early stages of the window.
But it is understood that Birmingham are keen to retain the striker and could hand him a new contract in a bid to fend off interest - which would prove to be an early setback for Boro.
Meanwhile, two Middlesbrough players have been handed international call-ups.
Everton loanee Mo Besic is set to team-up with the Bosnian national side ahead of their European qualifiers, while Darren Randolph will once again represent the Republic of Ireland.
But both Jon Obi Mikel (Nigeria) and Britt Assombalonga (DR Congo) will remain in the North East as they were snubbed by their respective nations.