Neil Warnock reveals free agent disagreement with Middlesbrough set to turn to youth against Peterborough United

While Neil Warnock may not want to wish his life away, the Middlesbrough boss may prefer it if January could come sooner rather than later.

Saturday, 16th October 2021, 7:00 am

In 11 weeks the transfer window will be about to open and will allow Warnock the chance to enhance his depleted squad having failed to acquire an unnamed free agent during the last fortnight.

Ahead of October’s international break Warnock suggested he would have to ‘fix’ Boro’s worsening injury problems with the potential for new arrivals from those who have been left without a club since August.

But Warnock has revealed they were unable to agree terms with one player due to the financial package of the deal.

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Neil Warnock has said his side were unable to agree a deal for free agent (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

“We were hoping we could add a new player or two but we couldn't get anybody in, we couldn’t quite financially agree a deal so we’ve got what we’ve got,” he said.

Asked if he would go back with an improved offer Warnock said: “I can’t see it after this week.

“We were close, but we just couldn't financially get the deal done so we’ve had to leave that.

“I’m still looking at one or two but we’re in the middle of October and these lads haven't played so it’s catch-22.

“If somebody cropped up who is fit enough we’d consider it, if it fitted into our wage structure.”

Boro had been linked with former Manchester United and Burnley winger Robbie Brady before Warnock moved to dispel rumours ahead of the international break.

And failure to bring further additions to the squad means Warnock is now left with a frightening scenario ahead of this afternoon’s team selection for the clash with Peterborough United with a raft of first team players missing through injury - particularly in defence.

But even of those who have trained, or returned from international duty, there remains doubts.

Midfield pair Martin Payero and James Lea Siliki have failed to hit any heights since arriving on Teesside this summer with Warnock questioning the fitness of both on several occasions while the 72-year-old also revealed striker Andraz Sporar continues to struggle with an achilles issue he has had since joining on loan from Sporting Lisbon.

It means supporters should expect an unfamiliar starting line-up with players out of position or youngster’s being handed their first opportunities.

Warnock confirmed some of Boro’s U23 squad have been training with what was left of the first team over the course of the international break with a number of them set to feature at the Riverside this afternoon.

“Some of them have been waiting for an opportunity and that’s what they’re going to get. They’ll have to try and prove they deserve the shirt.

“I don’t think any of them will let us down. It’s just picking the right time. You don’t normally want to pick them in a weakened team, you want to try and give them an opportunity.

“They’ll be in the squad because we haven’t got enough. We’ve probably only got six subs.

“But I’ve said to the lads, lets go and have a go and enjoy it. Our chips are down, but we’ve got some good players. It just seems to be defenders at the minute that are struggling.

“People will be out of position and they’ll have to do a job. It’ll be interesting.”

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