Middlesbrough have made contact with Chelsea ahead of January, confirming their interest in re-signing Patrick Bamford and also asking about midfield starlet Charly Musonda, HITC Sport understands from sources close to the mooted deals.
Boro boss Aitor Karanka wants to reinforce his attacking options and he will again call on his mentor Jose Mourinho at Chelsea - who Middlesbrough have strong links with.
Since Karanka arrived at Boro, they have signed numerous players on loan from the Blues, including the likes of Nathaniel Chalobah, Josh McEachran, Kenneth Omeruo and most successfully of all Bamford, and they already have Tomas Kalas on a season-long deal from the Premier League champions.
Bamford spent all of last season with Boro and was voted Championship Player of the Year as they just missed out on promotion, losing in the play-off final.
Boro tried to re-sign him in the summer, but he opted for a Premier League move in the shape of Crystal Palace, but he has made just three substitute appearances all season in the league - with Connor Wickham, Fraizer Campbell and Dwight Gayle all seeing more game time.
Now Bamford has confirmed there is a break clause in his deal and it seems highly likely that this will be exercised in January, and Boro have been quick to let Chelsea know that he can return to the Riverside, if the player and they agree to it.
Boro have also asked Chelsea about other players on the fringes of their squad that could be available, and one of those talked about is Belgian Under-21 international Charly Musonda.
The former Anderlecht trainee has been at Stamford Bridge since 2012 but the 19-year-old is yet to make his first-team bow, indeed he has been linked with the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Monaco in recent weeks – as reported by the Daily Mirror - but sources have told HITC Sport that he is going nowhere, having signed a new four-year deal earlier this year.
Instead Chelsea are considering sending him out on loan and if they do, Boro are likely to be an attractive proposition, and the Championship club are unlikely to turn down the chance to land a player with such promise on a deal until the end of the season.