Middlesbrough boss won't discuss Ross McCormack bid

Middlesbrough Riverside Stadium gates

HITC Sport revealed earlier this week that Boro had made an offer.

Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka has refused to discuss their bid for Fulham striker Ross McCormack, HITC Sport understands.

HITC Sport exclusively revealed Boro had made their move for the Cottagers captain earlier this week - but since then both clubs have been quiet about the issue.

Fulham are doing their best to convince McCormack that he could achieve his ambitions with them, although we understand that he wants to move to the North East.

Boro are set to make a second bid, indeed some sources claim that has already happened, but Karanka has learnt from previous windows when he has talked about the likes of Jordan Rhodes and Shay Given - only to see the deals fail to materialise.

And the Spaniard is not about to make the same mistake, and speaking at a press conference ahead of the weekend's game with Nottingham Forest, he said: “I don’t want to speak about offers as I have the experience in the summer when we had signed Jordan Rhodes and spent £25m, but nobody came.

“I want to talk about the players who are here because they want to be here, and we have two or three months to keep going until the end of the season.

“If you ask me today if it’s true about McCormack, true about Rhodes, true about Lindelof, true about ( Santi) Cazorla or (Mesut) Ozil, I’d say I want to keep going and on February 2nd we can talk about the players (who may be) here.”

Karanka did confirm the club are still working on a deal for Benfica's Victor Lindelof, which is all the more pressing with Ben Gibson suffering a hip problem which is set to keep him out for a couple of weeks.

“We’re looking for a central defender and midfielder and if one player can fill both of those positions then that would be ideal.”

On Gibson's injury he said: "It is his hip, he injured it in the warm up before the game against Burnley in the cup. He felt pain in the warm-up and since that day he’s not been able to play. It’s worse than I first thought, I couldn’t imagine that in a warm up you could get injured in that way. He won’t be available for the next game but maybe the game after that because it’s not for two more weeks. “ 

Some better news for Karanka is that long-term injury victims Alex Baptiste and Damia Abella are both back in training. Baptise has never played a competitive game for Boro after joining in the summer, but breaking his leg in pre-season.

Abella has not played for nearly 18-months after suffering a knee injury just weeks after joining in the summer of 2014.

"Alex is a player who knows the league and the country, he’s not a player who needs time to settle in. He looks like a kid on his first day, he’s really fit which is a surprise as when you’re out of the team it sometimes takes a while. He and Damia are both training well and will be good alternatives for me."

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