Aitor Karanka will be eager to bolster his newly inherited Birmingham City squad this summer. Here are five players he could target- 

George Friend- The experienced left-back was a key player for the Spaniard when he was manager at Middlesbrough and is currently out of contract at the Riverside Stadium. Could he reunite with his former boss in the Midlands this summer?

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Ben Gibson, Burnley- He is desperate to leave Turf Moor and is another who Karanka knows well. The ex-England Under-21 international helped Boro gain promotion to the Premier League in 2016 and would be ideal for Birmingham.

Albert Adomah, Nottingham Forest- The 32-year-old played under the new Blues’ boss for three years at Boro and could become available this summer. He still has a year left on his contract at the City Ground but may be sold so they avoid losing him for free in 2021. He spent the second-half of the past season on loan at Cardiff City.

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Jack Colback- He is available after being released by Newcastle United and will be weighing up his options. Karanka had him on loan at previous club Nottingham Forest and may consider a move for him. The 30-year-old has also played for Sunderland and Ipswich Town in the past.

Ben Watson, Nottingham Forest- Karanka signed him for Forest and is now out of contract there. The veteran midfielder has been linked with QPR but could now be on Birmingham’s radar as they look to strengthen their options in the middle of the park. 

Is Karanka a good appointment by Birmingham?