Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka admits he faces a battle to sign Sunderland target Stewart Downing from West Ham.
The Teessider looks certain to leave the Hammers, with a return to the North East likely.
But which club he goes to remains to be seen.
“I can’t say anything about Stewart as a player because everybody knows him,” said Karanka.
“For me it is difficult to think about him because I know it is very difficult for me to get this type of player because he is a Premier League player.
“He has offers from other places but I am here to assemble a squad as good as we can.”
Karanka could be signing keeper Shay Given.
Asked about the former Newcastle United keeper, Karanka said: “We are working on the keeper position, we are working on the striker position, we are working on the midfielder position.
“Shay was here, I know him, he knows me, so we are working and let’s see.”