Leeds United target Middlesbrough striker Rudy Gestede

Middlesbrough's Rudy Gestede (left) and Sheffield United's Jack O'Connell battle for the ball.
Middlesbrough's Rudy Gestede (left) and Sheffield United's Jack O'Connell battle for the ball.

Middlesbrough may have to brace themselves for a bid for striker Rudy Gestede as Championship rivals Leeds United look to strengthen their attack.

Leeds yesterday sold leading goalscorer Chris Wood to Premier League side Burnley for an initial £15million.

It leaves the Elland Road side short on firepower, despite their 2-0 win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light being achieved without Wood.

And boss Thomas Christiansen has quickly been linked with a £6million move for Gestede as a replacement for the Kiwi international.

Gestede, 28, has made four appearances for Boro this season, scoring once and Garry Monk is unlikely to let the former Aston Villa target man leaves without a fight, despite also having £15million forward Britt Assomobalonga, Martin Braithwaite, Patrick Bamford and Ashley Fletcher on his books.

Benin-born Gestede, who has also collected two assists this term, has a contract with the Teesside club until 2020.

Gestede could be rested tonight for the Carabao Cup clash with Scunthorpe United (7.45pm), having played the full 90 minutes alongside Assombalonga in Saturday’s 2-1 Championship defeat at Nottingham Forest.

Boro scout Gary Gill took in CSKA Sofia’s win over Vitosha Bistritsa on Saturday as part of a trip to the Eastern Bloc country.

Meanwhile, Boro have been linked with Bulgarian defender Bozhidar Chorbadzhiyski after a scouting mission at the weekend.

Boro scout Gary Gill took in CSKA Sofia’s win over Vitosha Bistritsa on Saturday, with reports coming out of Bulgaria claiming he also watched an Under-19s fixture.

Bulgarian news agency BTA. have reported Gill watched CSKA’s 6-1 top-flight win over Vitosha, with CSKA defender Bozhidar a potential target.

The 22-year-old centre-half impressed with two goals as his side moved into second place in the table.

Chorbadzhiyski is one of Bulgaria’s rising stars. He already captains CSKA and has won three caps for his country.

Left-back Anton Nendyalkov, midfielder Krystian Malinov, winger Kiril Despodov and Brazilian striker Fernando Karanga have also attracted attention from a number of clubs.