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Middlesborough targeting promotion, Bamford loan

Srdjan Stevanovic

If you're looking for a team to keep a close eye on later today and for the rest of the Football League Championship season (i.e. the second division), look no further than The Boro.

Managed by none other than Jose Mourinho's former assistant at Real Madrid Aitor Karanka, Middlesbrough finished a very solid 12th last season, which is even more impressive when you consider that they only won one of their first ten games under previous coach Tony Mowbray.  Hoping to build on that finish, Karanka has set his sights on the Premier League and has already (re-)enlisted young Kenneth Omeruo on loan to help him in that regard.  But that may not be the end of his business with "good friend" Jose Mourinho.

...Karanka is also hoping to add to Middlesbrough's loan contingent next week, with further arrivals from Chelsea in the pipeline.

Karanka has been pushing Jose Mourinho to allow striker Patrick Bamford to move to the Riverside on a season-long loan, while George Saville was also discussed as a possible target before the midfielder expressed reservations about moving to Teesside.

-source: The Northern Echo

Much like Chelsea last year, Boro's biggest problem was the lack of a quality goalscorer and while they did sign Spanish second division standout Kike earlier this summer (after his former club Real Murcia failed to secure a professional license and were dumped back into the third tier), Bamford would have a pretty good chance at once again making his mark up north.

Unsurprisingly, given the two managers' shared history, Middlesborough run a similar system and footballing philosophy as Chelsea do nowadays and Karanka's hoping that'll help him land his targets.

"Our relationship with Chelsea is good because it is healthy for all parties. It is not just because Jose and I are good friends."

"We are friends, but the most important thing is that the deals make everyone happy. Ken came last season and, at the beginning he didn't play, but he finished the season playing in the World Cup.  He is here again because he was happy at Middlesbrough, and Chelsea are happy sending him here again. They believe Middlesbrough are a good club to send players to develop and grow. We have the same philosophy as Jose."

-Aitor Karanka; source: The Northern Echo

Boro start their season at home, against Birmingham City who escaped relegated by virtue of goal difference.  Omeruo should get the start.

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