Middlesbrough look to sign Given long term as Steele and Karama are both ruled out

The Advertiser Series: IN DEMAND: Middlesbrough want to sign former Newcastle United goalkeeper Shay Given until the end of the season IN DEMAND: Middlesbrough want to sign former Newcastle United goalkeeper Shay Given until the end of the season

AITOR KARANKA will attempt to sign Shay Given until the end of the season after revealing that Jason Steele is facing a lengthy injury lay-off.

And in more bad news for the Middlesbrough boss, first-choice striker Kei Kamara has been ruled out of the entire festive programme with a serious knee problem.

Having completed a three-match ban following his dismissal at Leeds, Steele should have been available for tomorrow’s home game with Brighton.

However, the 23-year-old is currently working with Middlesbrough’s medical staff in an attempt to get to the bottom of a troublesome ankle injury that has flared up in the last few weeks.

The Advertiser Series: INJURED: Boro keeper Jason Steele

In his absence, Given will continue in goal, but with the experienced Irishman due to return to his parent club, Aston Villa, on December 27, the clock is ticking as Karanka looks to secure a longer-term solution to Boro’s goalkeeping concerns.

The Spaniard’s preferred option would be to sign Given for the remainder of the season, but it will need some tough negotiating to pull off a deal.

Given is keen to keep his options open ahead of January’s transfer window, and Swansea manager Michael Laudrup is lining up the 37-year-old as a potential replacement for the injured Michel Vorm.

“We will be having discussions with Aston Villa,” said Karanka. “It depends on what Shay wants, and on what Aston Villa want to do, but I would like to have him here for the whole of the season. That would be my choice, but it is not just up to me.”

With Jayson Leutwiler also currently unavailable, Given and former Hartlepool shot-stopper Dimi Konstantopoulos are Boro’s only goalkeeping options in the absence of Steele.

The former England under-21 international has barely trained since being dismissed at Leeds, and is under the care of the club’s doctors at the moment rather than the coaching staff.

“Jason is not training at this moment,” said Karanka. “He has an injury problem with his ankle, and the doctors are working with him. I think it is a long-term thing, but the doctors are working hard to try to make sure that Jason can be back with us as soon as possible.”

Steele’s injury is mirrored by Kamara’s problems at the other end of the field, with the striker currently on crutches after damaging his knee.

He is expected to miss all of Boro’s Christmas and New Year games, and while Lukas Jutkiewicz could get a chance to re-establish himself in the first team after making just one start since mid-September, there is no doubt that Kamara’s work rate and goal threat will be missed.

The Advertiser Series: HIGH RISER: Kei Kamara made his first start for Boro last night, and made an instant impression with a goal on 17 minutes

“Kei has a problem with his knee, and I think we will be without him for the next month,” confirmed Karanka. “I think he will miss most of the Christmas games. It is a very big loss for the team because he does a lot of work and has been a very good player for us. But I have another 25 players to play and I must concentrate on working with them.”

As well as preparing his team for the visit of a Brighton side led by one of his former team-mates from the Spanish Olympic side, Oscar Garcia, Karanka has also been discussing the January transfer window with chief executive Neil Bausor and chairman Steve Gibson.

The Boro hierarchy attempted to sign two or three outfield players ahead of last month’s loan deadline – most notably Manchester United youngster Michael Keane, who joined Derby instead – and are poised to renew their efforts when the full transfer window reopens at the start of next month.

“The club and me are working together to try to improve the squad in January,” said Karanka. “If some new players arrive then that will be good. If no one arrives then I am happy with my team, but it would definitely be nice to make some additions.

“We will have to see what has happened by January 31. Both myself and the club think it is important to bring players here, but those players have to be an improvement on the ones that are already here.”

As well as looking to bring players in, however, Karanka will also be attempting to reduce the overall size of a squad that became bloated in the latter stages of Tony Mowbray’s reign.

The Advertiser Series: Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka

“We will be looking to try to bring players in, but that might also mean that some players have to leave,” said the Boro boss. “I have been speaking with the club about this, and we discussed it before I came.

“I am not someone who likes to train with a lot of players every day because I do not think that is any good. This weekend, I have to write 18 players’ name on a list, and if I have 30 players to choose from, that is not an ideal position.

“There will be a lot of players who have been training 100 per cent, and it is difficult for me to not even name them in my squad. If some players arrive in January, then that will be even more to accommodate and, ideally, I would like a squad of 22 or 23 players. I would like to bring some quality players in, but at the moment the squad is probably too big rather than too small.”

Comments (4)

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9:24am Fri 13 Dec 13

moby wanyroy says...

The loss of Steele does not bother me one iota, he brings nothing to the team that any of our reserves could not adequately do. Given for the remainder of the season would be brilliant.
Kamara is a different kettle of fish, he is in a different league to all of our known alternatives, perhaps Karanka will give one of our academy players a chance.
The loss of Steele does not bother me one iota, he brings nothing to the team that any of our reserves could not adequately do. Given for the remainder of the season would be brilliant. Kamara is a different kettle of fish, he is in a different league to all of our known alternatives, perhaps Karanka will give one of our academy players a chance. moby wanyroy

9:40am Fri 13 Dec 13

Boro1976 says...

I agree with you i am not a big fan of steele and getting given for the remainder of the season would be brilliant, Players like Ledesma parnaby hines halliday need to go, it also obvious Karanka doesnt fancy varga who i think is a good player but i can see his loan being terminated, I would give luke williams a run in the team
I agree with you i am not a big fan of steele and getting given for the remainder of the season would be brilliant, Players like Ledesma parnaby hines halliday need to go, it also obvious Karanka doesnt fancy varga who i think is a good player but i can see his loan being terminated, I would give luke williams a run in the team Boro1976

10:55am Fri 13 Dec 13

Dukes says...

Love to see him here till end of the season. We need some win badly that the plan.
Love to see him here till end of the season. We need some win badly that the plan. Dukes

11:00am Sat 14 Dec 13

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