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Karanka targeting more Boro deals after Bamford swoop

Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka is keen on further attacking reinforcements during the January transfer window.

Boro signed forward Patrick Bamford from Chelsea on a four-and-a-half year deal for a reported £6million on Wednesday, having brought in striker Rudy Gestede from Aston Villa.

The duo will add competition for places to a shot-shy attack – Middlesbrough's return of 17 goals from 21 matches is the lowest in the top flight – ahead of West Ham's visit to the Riverside Stadium this Saturday.

Nevertheless, Karanka is now concerned over the men providing the ammunition and has been linked with Stoke City's classy former Barcelona youngster Bojan Krkic.

"I said always the main position I want to strengthen is the wings as the only quick player we have is Adama [Traore]," he said. 

"I want to bring another but we have two weeks. The club is working well behind the scenes and knows the players I like and would want to bring in.

"They're not bothering me every day telling me what's happening or not, they know the players I like and when he’s here it will be perfect."

Bamford won Championship Player of the Year two seasons ago when he scored 19 goals for Boro during an acclaimed loan spell.

Subsequent temporary stints at Norwich City, Crystal Palace and Burnley have fallen flat and, while Karanka acknowledges he might have something of a rebuilding job on his hands, he has no doubts over the 23-year-old's ability.

"I am really pleased Patrick Bamford is back. He's a player I like a lot and he has played his best football with us," he said. 

"The most important thing is to recover Patrick's confidence. It will be difficult for him, but I trust him. He can be as important for us as he was two years ago.

"Patrick can play any attacking position. His best characteristic is that he is always thinking forward, which we need right now.

"The first thing in my job is to improve players, and knowing Patrick like I do it is important."