Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock has already held talks with ‘four or five’ transfer targets ahead of their summer overhaul, according to The Northern Echo.

Middlesbrough are looking to sign ‘eight or nine’ new players according to Boro boss Warnock and they have already got the wheels in motion with the transfer window opening this week.

So far they have made one new acquisition with goalkeeper Joe Lumley arriving on a free transfer from fellow Championship side Queens Park Rangers. Lumley replaces the outgoing duo of loanee Marcus Bettinelli and Jordan Archer who has become a free agent.

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Middlesbrough recently revealed their retained list and along with the two goalkeepers, they released two strikers and two wingers in Ashley Fletcher, Britt Assombalonga, Marvin Johnson and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and are looking for replacements in the coming months.

The report states that despite Warnock being in his home down in Cornwall, he has been in regular contact with chairman Steve Gibson and the club’s hierarchy, as well as his two assistants Ronnie Jepson and Kevin Blackwell.

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The 72-year-old veteran manager has spoken to four or five players and their representatives and is ‘reasonably optimistic that a number of discussions will result in a deal’.

Although Middlesbrough’s transfer budget is set to be limited, it seems as though they are prioritising players who are available for free. The majority of rumoured transfer targets such as Charlie Wyke of Sunderland, Cardiff City’s Junior Hoilett, and Everton’s Yannick Bolasie are all set to leave their respective clubs at the end of this month and will become free agents.