Mowbray cant buy before he sells

Last updated : 07 January 2011 By Northern Echo

TONY Mowbray has admitted he is performing a balancing act as he attempts to make some headway on identifying potential signings, while also waiting for other managers to make a formal offer for the higher-earning members of the Middlesbrough squad.

Mowbray must sell before he can buy this month, but while a number of Premier League clubs have inquired about in-demand centre-half David Wheater, there has been no formal approach for any of his players.

With the likes of Kris Boyd, Scott McDonald and Gary O'Neil available, it remains likely that a number of highprofile names will leave the Riverside before the end of the month.

However, Mowbray's fear is that deals will only be concluded in the final week of the transfer window, making it all the more difficult to recruit replacements.

As a result, he will be redoubling his efforts to push outgoing transfers through once Boro have negotiated a potentially tricky FA Cup third-round tie with Burton Albion tomorrow.

We're trying to get to a situation where it's not a lastminute rush because, if it is, we've really got nowhere to go, said Mowbray. If everybody gets sold on the last day, we won't be able to get people in to replace them.

It's a balancing act because, if we try to do some business into the club before the last day, then the sales on the last day don't happen, we'll be compounding the problem we already have.

We're hoping that something will happen in the next week or so because that would obviously make the situation a bit simpler and free something up for me to be able to bring somebody in. Then everything won't be happening at the last minute.

At the moment, the most likely player to leave the Riverside permanently is Andrew Taylor, even though he has only just returned to Teesside following a loan spell at Watford.

Hornets boss Malky Mackay is keen to secure a longterm deal for the full-back, who is due to become a free agent when his contract expires in the summer. But wages are understood to be a major stumbling block.

Taylor's recent performances have alerted a number of Championship clubs to his availability, and Leeds United are understood to be one of a number of sides to have held conversations with Mowbray this week.

The Boro boss has also been discussing Jonathan Grounds' long-term future with Hibernian boss Colin Calderwood.

Grounds has spent the last four months on loan at Easter Road.

But with this week's talks having failed to produce a resolution, the Thornaby-born defender is expected to return to Teesside next week.

Andrew is back at the club, but he was stretchered off in his final game at Watford and he hasn't trained with us yet,

said Mowbray, who last night allowed Lee Miller to stay on loan at Notts County for the rest of the season.

I don't think it's too serious, but there's a fair chance that he won't make the weekend.

He's here though and, once he's fit, he's available to play.

Jonathan isn't back yet, and it's something I've been having discussions with Colin Calderwood about. As things stand though, I think he's likely to be coming back soon too.

Mowbray could opt to play Grounds in next week's reserves game with Grimsby Town.

That match is also likely to feature an appearance from Andrew Davies.

Davies has been training with Boro for more than a month after Stoke boss Tony Pulis instructed him to find a new club, but Mowbray is still to decide whether to offer the Stockton-born full-back a short-term deal.

Jeremie Aliadiere will not be signing with the Teessiders, however, after returning to his native France to secure a club.

Andrew's been here for more than a month now, but for most of that time, the training ground has been covered with snow, said Mowbray.

I've had a look at his personality and seen what he's like as an individual, but I can't be offering him anything without having seen him play in a game.

Mowbray has already ruled Kevin Thomson out of tomorrow's cup tie, and the Scotsman will be joined on the sidelines by Mikael Tavares, who is set for a month-long absence after breaking his toe.

However, it is hoped that Barry Robson and Gary O'Neil could both feature at the Pirelli Stadium after returning to training yesterday.

Source: Northern Echo

Source: Northern Echo