AITOR KARANKA will allow Frazer Richardson to leave the club this month as the Middlesbrough head coach looks to reduce the size of his squad.
Karanka has made no secret of his desire to whittle the first-team squad down to a more manageable number, and Richardson is set to be one of several players to leave Teesside over the next few weeks.
The right-back has fallen down the pecking order since Karanka was appointed, and despite Rhys Williams’ impending move to Swansea City, the Boro boss is happy to let Richardson leave with Josef Varga and Stuart Parnaby both capable of playing in the right-back slot.
The former Southampton defender is likely to leave on a temporary deal – fellow Championship side Blackpool have been touted as potential suitors – and he could be followed out the Riverside exit door by several others.
Faris Haroun has been linked with a return to Belgium, while Andy Halliday, Adam Reach, Luke Williams and Seb Hines could all leave on loan.
Williams has been the subject of Swansea’s interest for some time and the defender looks set to end his seven-year stay on Teesside after the south Wales club registered a bid in the region of £1.5m, which would enable Karanka to step up his attempts to sign a goalscorer this month.
With the exception of Kei Kamara, Boro’s strike department has severely under-performed this season and the Spaniard has identified a goalscorer as a priority going into the final few months of the season.
Belgium’s Jelle Vossen is under consideration, but Genk are holding out for a fee in the region of £4m – something Boro wouldn’t be prepared to pay unless they can recoup some of that amount through player sales.
Williams’ move to Swansea would contribute, but Karanka is assessing different options with Norwich City’s Luciano Becchio, Wolves’ Kevin Doyle and Sunderland’s Danny Graham all muted with potential loan moves, although the trio would have to take considerable wage cuts to move to the Riverside.
Boro were linked with a swap deal involving Lukas Jutkiewicz and Blackburn’s Ruben Rochina, but the Spanish striker has joined Rayo Vallecano on loan with a view to making the move permanent in the summer.