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Karanka considers other midfield targets
Updated 9:47am Thursday 24th July 2014 in Sport
MIDDLESBROUGH head coach Aitor Karanka will turn to other midfield targets if Huddersfield Town refuse to lower their valuation of Adam Clayton.
Karanka is keen to add a central midfielder to his squad and the Spaniard had earmarked the 25-year-old as one of his top targets this summer.
Boro reportedly had an offer in the region of £1m rejected earlier in the summer, but the Terriers are understood to be holding out for £2-3m.
Clayton’s current deal at the John Smith’s Stadium runs out next summer and other clubs, including Wigan, Nottingham Forest and Norwich City, are closely monitoring his situation.
Although Boro haven’t given up hope of signing the Manchester-born star, Karanka is keen to add more new faces to his squad sooner rather than later.
The Teessiders could return with an improved bid over the coming days, but a list of alternatives is being looked at if their pursuit of Clayton fails.
So far, the Boro head coach has brought in Thomas Mejias and Kike, but a right-back, attack-minded central midfielder and striker remain on his wanted list.
Having returned from a week-long training camp in Marbella, Boro resume their pre-season preparations at Rochdale on Saturday and Karanka has urged his players to pick up where they left off in Spain.
So far, the Teessiders have won three out of their four friendly games, scoring 13 and conceding just two in the process, and despite being frustrated in the transfer market, the Boro head coach is looking for more of the same when his side go to Spotland this weekend.
“We will look to go in the same way we finished in Spain,” Karanka told mfc.co.uk.
“We'll look to carry on. There were a couple of days of rest, then we will have more sessions this week and we have Saturday's game.
“We've had no real injuries and that's important when you have the whole squad to work with.
Boro get their Championship campaign underway in little over two weeks and Karanka remains focused on making sure his players prepare well.
He said: “I'm not thinking about Birmingham yet. I prefer to think about now, have a rest before working again, and the 9th is a long time away yet.
“We have three games before then, we may bring in some more players and we'll work hard from there.”
Boro Season Card holders can now collect their 2014-15 free drinks vouchers.
Introduced for the first time last season, the popular scheme entitles Season Card holders to a free standard hot or cold beverage from concourse outlets at all league matches.
Vouchers can be collected from the Riverside Stadium Main Ticket Office: 9.30-5pm Mon-Fri and 9.30-12pm Saturdays.
They will also be available at the Villarreal game on August 2 from the Main Ticket Office, South Stand Ticket Office and North Stand Ticket Office. Vouchers are not available for collection between 1-3pm at the Birmingham City game on August 9.