Middlesbrough’s Mowbray eyes signing boost for Algarve trip

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MIDDLESBROUGH boss Tony Mowbray hopes for good news on the transfer front ahead of next week’s pre-season trip to the Algarve.

Mowbray has landed Hungary midfielder Jozsef Varga on a season-long loan, and free agent former Sunderland captai Dean Whitehead is widely tipped to be the next signing for the Teessiders.

“We’re looking forward to going to Portugal to do some team shape,” said Mowbray.

“Hopefully we’ll have another player or two in by the time we go and we can start to work with the team.”

Mowbray has been delighted with the squad’s efforts after the first week of pre-season, as Boro build up to the start of the new Championship season on August 3.

He added: “As expected, the players all came back fit. Modern-day footballers generally do come back within their target weights.

“They all enjoyed their summer but came back in the shape we would expect them to and they’ve trained well.

“We will keep easing them in and testing their fitness levels for our records. If they do get injuries along the way, we know where their fitness levels need to be.

“We’re just building it up and trying to keep them fit through pre-season so they can get the core fitness in.”

Boro, meanwhile, will monitor the progress of their young fringe first-teamers before deciding if any will leave for experience on loan further down the Football League.

Adam Reach and Luke Williams should benefit from their experience with England Under-20s this summer, and Mowbray said: “Hopefully it will be a big season for Luke and Adam. We need them to step up if they can and if they can’t, there’s the potential for them to go out on loan.

“We’ll talk to them during pre-season and at the end we’ll assess where we think they are. Ben Gibson and Christian Burgess, who played in our last game last season, come into that category as well.”