Who's in and out of Boro as pre-season training commences
Boro are getting ready for the start of the season. The goal is clear: return to the Premier League.
And for that, the team led by Garry Monk will need to rebuild themselves to face the Championship in the best way possible. But first, we'll review the confirmed and rumoured transfers up to this point.
To the already confirmed departures of Álvaro Negredo (returning to Valencia after his loan spell), Victor Valdés (free agent after activating his relegation clause) and Brad Guzan (who joins the MLS team Atlanta United) we have to add Viktor Fischer to the list, who has joined 1. FSV Mainz 05. Fischer joins the German outfit for an undisclosed fee and has signed a four year contract.
Another player that wont be available for Garry Monk is the Belgian midfielder Julien de Sart. The central midfielder was on loan for Derby County last season and has already signed another season long loan deal with the Jupiler Pro-League team SV Zulte Waregem.
Ben Gibson is a player in high demand by several Premier League teams according to reports. Clubs such as Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool have reportedly shown an interest in signing the England defender, however Garry Monk would like to keep him and Boro will only let him go if a very good offer comes in (minimum £25 million). How this transfer story will develop is uncertain during the long transfer window.
Another player linked with a move away is Marten de Room, with Italian and English sides showing an interest in the midfielder. Reports indicate that Manchester United may be interested, however there's been no official confirmation so far.
With some important names departing Boro, we will need some quality signings to bounce back to the Premier League. Congolese forward Britt Assombalonga had a great campaign with Nottingham Forest last season, with 14 goals in 32 matches. A lot of teams are monitoring his situation at Forest, with Boro being one of the main contenders. Forest’s boss Mark Warburton has already said that he would like to retain most of his players and that only a good offer will force a move. Now the ball is in Middlesbrough’s court and we will have to wait to see if a good enough offer is made.
Another player being linked with the club is the England U20 player Sheyi Ojo. The Liverpool winger won’t be seeing much Premier League action next season and a loan spell might be the best option for the player looking to break into the Liverpool team.
Finally, it’s still early to see if any of the loaned players from last season will make their way into the Boro squad this season. Carlos de Pena is back after his spell with Real Oviedo, likewise, Tomas Mejías returns having being a substitute for most of the season with Rayo Vallecano.
Both players won’t have it easy if they want to stay, but the opportunity must be taken as Boro need squad depth to cover those positions. A large squad will be crucial in such a long Champions season.