Despite not currently having a first-team manager at the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough’s board will surely be eyeing up potential transfer targets ahead of their return to the Sky Bet Championship.
Boro will be one of the early season favourites to return to the top-flight, despite last season’s releagation from the Premier League, and whoever finds themselves in the dugout at the Riverside, will be looking to bolster his squad to mount a serious challenge.
One player Boro have been linked with early in the summer is West Ham United’s Ashley Fletcher, who could be available on a season-long loan from the Hammers, following a difficult first season under Slaven Bilic.
Fletcher is one player Boro shouldn’t chase after this summer, particularly with Patrick Bamford within their ranks.
Bamford signed for Boro from Chelsea during the January transfer window, returning to the club where he enjoyed the best spell of his career to date.
The 23-year old helped Boro to the play-off final during the 2014/15 campaign, scoring 19 goals throughout the season and picking up numerous personal accolades at the end of the year.
Since then, Bamford has spent time in the Premier League, where he has struggled, and a return to the Championship should reignite his career.
Chasing after Fletcher, who is unproven in the Championship, would be a mistake from Boro, particularly with Bamford still at the club and with a lot to prove.
If Bamford can rediscover his goalscoring touch in the Championship, then Boro will be confident of a return to the Premier League, whoever the club’s manager is.