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.