Speaking to Teesside Live, Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock admits he is hoping to sign ‘eight or nine’ players in the up and coming transfer window.

Middlesbrough were looking likely to achieve a place in the Championship top six throughout the season, however, multiple injuries left the squad very thin and a run of poor form soon followed.

The players missing highlighted the need for reinforcements, equally, their lack of a goalscoring number nine.

Up to eight players could also leave the club in June. Both Ashley Fletcher and Britt Assombalonga have already departed after being released from their contracts early. Marvin Johnson, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Jordan Archer will also see their deals come to an end next month.

Middlesbrough players celebrate against Rotherham United

Loanees Yannick Bolasie, Neeskens Kebano, and Marcus Bettinelli will return to their parent clubs Everton and Fulham respectively, leaving them even lighter in numbers.

Therefore Boro boss Neil Warnock has confirmed he is hoping to sign more than just a handful this summer.

“There’ll be eight or nine players coming in, I’d imagine,” he said.

“But that doesn’t mean they’ll get in the team.

“I look at our team and we’ve got nine or 10 top players. We want to make sure when those players get injured we’ve got good players coming in for them.”

Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock

He went on to say that the core group are good enough, but they will need a few more additions to challenge at the top of the table.

“I think we’ve got a nucleus, half of the team weren’t at Luton, they were out injured.

“When we get those lads back, we’re optimistic we can give anybody a good game. When we’ve had to roll our sleeves up, we have done.”

Their main priority this summer is a striker. With Fletcher and Assombalonga having left, this leaves just Chuba Akpom as a recognised first-team number nine.

However, 18-year-old Josh Coburn has been given a chance in recent weeks, even scoring on his home debut; whereas Duncan Watmore has also been deployed in that position despite being more natural as a winger or a number 10.