Promise of Sola flair excites Boro boss Karanka

Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka
Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka
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Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka says that impending signing Kike Sola will offer a different dimension for the side’s attack.

The 29-year-old is expected to join Boro from Athletic Bilbao in the coming days.

Karanka has twice this week confirmed the Teessiders’ interest in the Spaniard, and says that a deal to bring him on loan until the end of the season is almost complete, but he was unable to set a timeframe.

Should the signing be completed, he will join fellow strikers Christhian Stuani, Diege Fabbrini, David Nugent and his namesake Kike.

“He’s bringing us something we don’t have now,” Karanka told BBC Tees.

“His skills are different and he can play here because he’s strong, he’s big and he can bring us something important.”

Boro, who are five points clear at the top of the Championship, play third-bottom Bristol City at Ashton Gate tomorrow (kick off 3pm).

Karanka is not expected to make too many, if any, changes to the side that beat Brentford 1-0 on Tuesday, with Ben Gibson still injured after suffering a slight problem in training on Monday.

Karanka is keen to bolster his squad, but only with versatile players.

“When you have players who can just play in one position, you need 25-30 players,” he went on.

“But when you have players who can play in different positions, it means we can sign other players.

“Emilio (Nsue) is an example – he came here as a winger but I knew he could play right-back.”

City, though relegation-threatened will be “motivated to play against us and they need the points”, Karanka said of this weekend’s match.

“We need to know it is a difficult game and to forget their league position and try to win the game.

“I am sure the team that will win the game will be the team who managed the motivation better.”