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Neil Warnock wants to make Reading defender Chris Gunter his first signing since taking over at Middlesbrough on Monday, according to The Sun (24 June, page 53).

A man who has come out of retirement more times than John McClane just couldn’t resist the chance to take on ‘one last job’ at the Riverside.

The 71-year-old Championship specialist is back in the dugout, replacing a man three decades his senior at a relegation threatened Boro side who axed Jonathan Woodgate after Saturday’s 3-0 collapse at home to Swansea City.

Biggest Club Dissolved EVERY Year (2001-2020)

Biggest Club Dissolved EVERY Year (2001-2020)

Warnock has only been barking orders in that humble Steel City twang for 24 hours but, according to reports, he already has one beady eye fixed on the transfer market.

96-cap Wales international Gunter is set to become a free agent this summer.

And The Sun reports that Warnock would love to sign an experienced right-back who he failed to get his mitts on during that promotion-winning campaign with Cardiff City.

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A deal for 30-year-old Gunter probably rests on whether the former Sheffield United, Leeds and Rotherham boss can help guide Middlesbrough away from the drop zone.

But Warnock has been here before and his remarkable ability to turn around an underperforming side with his old-school approach to coaching bodes well for a Boro side who came oh-so close to Premier League football under the similarly pragmatic Tony Pulis.

Birmingham City are also keen on Gunter, the report adds.

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In other news, Report: Newcastle have no concerns about paying £18m for 17-year-old wonder-kid