Middlesbrough are hoping to build towards a push for the Sky Bet Championship play-offs next season under Neil Warnock.
The club flirted with that possibility last season but it proved to be a step too far in a really competitive Championship season that saw Norwich City, Watford and Brentford eventually promoted.
So, with an eye on next season, we look at a player that’s emerged on Middlesbrough’s transfer radar early.
As per Football Insider, Boro have an eye on Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu at Luton Town, who is out of contract at Kenilworth Road and not yet signed up for 2021/22.
If a move to the Riverside does materialise, then, what impacts could it have on Teesside?
We take a look:
Lewis Wing’s sale
Wing impressed out on loan with Rotherham United last season in the Championship, scoring two goals and registering two assists in 20 appearances despite the Millers slipping out of the division.
You’d expect Warnock to consider using Wing next season, but the signing of Pelly-Ruddock changes the dynamic of Boro’s midfield and opens the door to an exit.
Football League World understand that Rotherham want Wing back, with Boro keen to use that as leverage to land Michael Smith this summer.
There’s also interest from Hull and Peterborough, so Boro aren’t going to be short on offers for the 25-year-old.
In the event of Pelly-Ruddock arriving this summer, it might spell the end for Wing on Teesside.
McNair a permanent fix at centre-back
McNair put in some solid performances at centre-back last season for Middlesbrough and there’s certainly a case to say that is the position the versatile Northern Irishman looks most comfortable in.
Pelly-Ruddock coming in to bolster the midfield ranks lessens the need for McNair to push back into midfield at any point, leaving him to continue to develop in the heart of Warnock’s defence.
There, a blossoming partnership with someone like Dael Fry could see Boro to a really competitive finish next season.
Even if Fry was to move on, the potential of McNair becoming a permanent fix in the Boro defence lessens that blow.