It has been an underwhelming start to the summer transfer for Middlesbrough in what is supposed to be the transfer window where Neil Warnock stamps his authority on the side.
So far, Boro have managed to secure the signing of Joe Lumley on a free transfer from QPR to add competition in the goalkeeping department.
However, other than that there has been little else to get excited about, apart from the odd one or two promising transfer rumours that have been circulating.
If anything, Middlesbrough’s squad is now weaker as things stand than it was when the 2020/21 campaign came to an end.
The likes of Britt Assombalonga, Ashley Fletcher, Marvin Johnson, Yannick Bolasie and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing have all left the Riverside and are yet to really be replaced.
Warnock will surely have to focus the majority of his attention in the transfer market on recruiting two or three new strikers who can lead the line for Boro and help to add some much-needed goals in the attacking third.
The Middlesbrough manager has shown time and time again he can get the best out of his centre forwards if he gets the right options through the door.
According to The Mirror, via Chronicle Live, Middlesbrough are lining up a highly ambitious move for former Sunderland forward Josh Maja this summer.
It is believed that Bordeaux would be required to drop their asking price for the 22-year-old, but that could happen due to their financial situation.
That comes after Fulham were unable to complete a £9 million permanent move for the forward following their relegation from the Premier League last term. Maja had arrived on loan in January with a view to a permanent deal and managed to score three times in 15 league games.
The latest report from the North Echo reveals that Middlesbrough might not be able to sign the forward on a permanent deal, but that a loan deal would be possible for them.
Quiz: What was the score the last time Middlesbrough played each of these 25 teams?
Maja has previously lit up League One during his spell at Sunderland where he had managed to fire home 15 goals in 24 matches in the first half of the 2018/19 campaign before leaving in a £3.5 million deal to Bordeaux in January 2019.
The 22-year-old’s move to France has not worked out as well as he would have been hoping for. He scored just twice in 17 league games in the first half of last term prior to his short-term move to Fulham. However, he had previously registered six goals in 21 games in the 2019/20 season.
The forward has managed to gain a wealth of experience for someone aged just 22, he will be a much more rounded player for his move to France.
He also showed with his performances for Fulham there is a player there that is certainly capable of developing into a Premier League quality striker.
Securing his signature would be a masterstroke by Warnock this summer and you would have to doubt Middlesbrough’s chances of convincing him to make the move if they did not have the experienced manager in charge.
Warnock’s reputation for getting sides promoted from the Championship will be a draw for players like Maja, and you would imagine that the Middlesbrough manager would make it know to the 22-year-old that he would be the main man at Boro if he arrives.
If Maja does sign for Middlesbrough then suddenly their goal-scoring issues upfront would look to have been solved. In a full Championship campaign, you would anticipate the 22-year-old being able to fire in the goals needed to get Boro challenging for the top-six places.
The 22-year-old is a natural goalscorer and he has that instinct to get into the right place at the right time that you can not really coach into a player. His arrival would transform the direction that Middlesbrough’s transfer window is heading in.
Boro would need to add more additions to their squad, but Maja arriving would highlight that Warnock’s pulling power remains as strong as ever.