JOZSEF VARGA will learn if his wish to stay at Middlesbrough has been granted by the end of the week - with Aitor Karanka keeping his options open.
The Hungarian has expressed a desire to stay at the Riverside Stadium next season and is heading in to the final year of his contract at Debrecen.
But Karanka and the Boro recruitment team are weighing up alternatives and it would appear unlikely that Varga is back on Teesside for pre-season training in July.
Middlesbrough have first option to turn his temporary switch in to a more permanent arrangement. The option is believed to expire later today, with Middlesbrough in no rush to strike a deal.
There was a similar option in January but Karanka was keen to take a closer look at the 25-year-old in the remaining months of the campaign before making a decision.
Karanka, who has previously hinted he would like to to do a deal if finances are right, only took over in October and felt he needed to monitor Varga for a longer period of time before making a decision on whether to keep him on Teesside for the long term.
Varga, signed by Tony Mowbray as a midfielder last summer, became Middlesbrough’s first choice right-back in the final five months of the campaign – and he would like to be back.
The player said: “I’d like to stay at Middlesbrough. When I left the English club many people said they would like me to go back. I hope we’ll meet again. I can’t say any details except my future may be decided within a week.”
Varga started 29 games in the Championship for Middlesbrough and became a crucial part of a defence which tightened up dramatically under Karanka. Most of the appearances were as a right-back.
The Middlesbrough boss is keen to make a number of changes to his squad before the start of next season, while also retaining the core of the team he has been reasonably impressed with since taking over.
Moves have already been made on a couple of fronts, namely Bournemouth’s striker Lewis Grabban, but how strong Karanka’s arm is on the transfer front could depend on how quickly permanent deals for Lukas Jutkiewicz and Marvin Emnes take place.
Both players are wanted by Bolton and Swansea – were they have been on loan - respectively and Middlesbrough expect to raise in the region of £1m each if both sales took place.
Karanka could be forced to listen to offers for some of his other players, but it would take considerably more than that to even tempt him.
Relegated Cardiff City, also interested in Grabban, are also keen on Grant Leadbitter, who has a year to run on his existing contract on Teesside.
One player who has left Middlesbrough is Matty Dolan. It has been confirmed the Hartlepool-born midfielder, who spent the first half of the season on loan at Victoria Park, has had his loan officially turned in to a full-time switch.
Dolan, 21, has been handed a one-year deal at Valley Parade with the option of a further 12 months.