Aitor Karanka confirms no loan departures, despite Leeds being linked with Kike

Leeds United reportedly want to sign Kike on loan from Middlesbrough.

Speaking to Gazette Live, Aitor Karanka has confirmed that no first-team players will be leaving Middlesbrough before the loan deadline today, despite a report claiming Leeds United want to sign Kike.

When asked if any players will be leaving the Riverside on loan, Karanka said: “No, not from the first-team squad.”

It was also the Gazette which linked Leeds with a move for Kike, with the loan window set to close at 5pm today, and with Steve Evans looking for a new striker.

Evans wants a player to compete with Chris Wood and Mirco Antenucci in his first-team, but whilst Kike would have been a strong option, he is a first-team player at Boro.

Not a guaranteed starter - he has started only five games this term - Karanka has still played 13 of 17 fixtures, and has been named in the matchday squad every single week.

Karanka may not use the Spanish striker a lot, but he clearly has a role to play.

If he was only a back-up option, Karanka may have considered loaning him to Leeds, but as he is getting consistent game time in the Spanish boss’s first-team, Evans is going to have to look elsewhere for a new striker.

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