Middlesbrough: Transfer Window Week 1

A host of players were linked with moves to Middlesbrough during December but the first week of the transfer window has been a very quiet one on Teesside.

Strikers Afonso Alves, Milan Baros, Daniel Cousin, James Beattie and Nicolae Dica were reported as targets last month but some important results in recent weeks and the improved form shown by summer signing Tuncay seems to have lessened the need for new faces.

One forward reportedly still in the frame is Ilco Naumoski, a Macedonian currently playing for SV Mattersburg in Austria. Rob Hulse of Sheffield United, Jason Roberts of Blackburn, Barcelona's Santi Ezquerro and Shola Ameobi of Newcastle have also been mentioned in passing but frantic January activity does not look to be on the cards.

'Boro have placed a lot of faith in youth this season and results such as Saturday's FA Cup win at Bristol City with a weakened side will only encourage them further in that regard.

"You are always looking," said assistant manager Malcolm Crosby recently.

"Every club is the same, they are always looking to bring new additions into the squad because every club wants to strengthen their squad.

"But it is never an easy time, January. You can end up with players who were maybe not 100% what you wanted.

"We have got to make sure that when we do bring somebody in, it is somebody we are going to have for the near future."

Similarly with players leaving, after reports of big money offers from Tottenham for both Stewart Downing and Adam Johnson last month, the only focus this week has been on the future of captain George Boateng, who was left out of the squad for the FA Cup tie with Bristol City after a bust-up with Gareth Southgate.

"I've spoken to George and I want him to stay," said the 'Boro boss.

"He's been captain for the 18 months I've been in charge and we're not actively looking to lose any of our players."

Wigan, Fulham and Sunderland have been linked with the Dutch midfielder.

Premier League Jan 2008 Transfer Window - Week 1 Round-up

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