Mowbray looking for bargain buys

Last updated : 29 January 2011 By Northern Echo

Mowbray is well aware of the club's financial position, with chairman Steve Gibson intent on reducing a ?24m wage bill for fear of spending a third successive season in the Championship.

Boro are close to finalising a deal to bring German defender Maximilian Haas in from Bayern Munich II, while he has an interest in Hibernian midfielder Merouane Zemmana, Newcastle's Xisco and Stoke's Andrew Davies.

With Leroy Lita and Kris Boyd are attracting fresh attention from QPR and Rangers, respectively, Mowbray could yet have to step up interest in new strikers and he was yesterday linked with a move for Sporting Lisbon's Yannick Djalo.

But Mowbray has hinted to fans not to expect any big transfer before the window shuts on Monday night, with cash tight at the Riverside despite the sale of David Wheater and Gary O'Neil.

Whoever we bring in will certainly not be equal to the figures of money we have let go, said Mowbray.

There has to be more money coming in than there does going out. There's potentially some more outs.

I am also working closely to bring in players. I'm not complaining, that's what times are like at present. I have to try to find footballers who can improve this squad for little money. It's not easy, but we are working on that.

It has been telling in recent weeks that Mowbray has made tying down his young, homegrown talents to longer term deals a priority.

And on the back of deals for Luke Williams, Jason Steele, Joe Bennett, Cameron Park and Connor Ripley, Middlesbrough announced yesterday that Seb Hines and Richie Smallwood have committed their futures to the club.

Wetherby-born Hines, 22, has signed a two-and-a-half year deal after filling the void left by David Wheater, while Smallwood, from Dormanstown, near Redcar, has signed an extension of his deal until the summer of 2012.

Middlesbrough have also edged closer to winning the battle to retain Andrew Taylor, despite strong interest from Watford. Taylor has been offered a new contract by the club on reduced terms, while the Hornets, where he spent a successful loan spell, are still hoping to agree a fee for him.

With such deals handed out, Mowbray hopes to enjoy further success on the transfer front once he has concluded the transfer of Haas.

The 25-year-old is unlikely to figure against Scunthorpe United on Tuesday night, but Mowbray is hoping the centreback will be familiar enough in his surroundings to play at Crystal Palace a week today.

There are not believed to have been any major problems in the Haas deal, but because of international clearance a deal that was expected to be concluded yesterday looks like taking place on Monday.

Lee Miller, signed 12 months ago from Aberdeen for ?500,000, has joined Scunthorpe until the end of the season but is unable to figure against the Boro on Tuesday at the Riverside.

And Boro can finally draw a line under the whole Mido saga after the Egyptian completed a move to Zamalek until the end of the season yesterday.

Source: Northern Echo

Source: Northern Echo