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Boro eye Chelsea deals

Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka has confirmed that the club are in talks with Chelsea about possible loans deals for January.

Boro are expected to bring in a number of new faces during January, mainly through their recently established links with Peter Kenyon and leading agent Jorge Mendes, who represents Karanka and Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.

Former Chelsea chief executive Kenyon has been working closely with Boro chairman Steve Gibson in recent months, which has seen an official link-up with Atletico Madrid confirmed and some players from their B side are expected to join this month.

And Chelsea are also expected to loan players to Boro with the likes of Kenneth Omeruo, Nathan Ake, Patrick Bamford, who is set to join Derby, and Nathaniel Chalobah, currently at Nottingham Forest, all linked in recent weeks.

"We are working on a lot of players. Just because I have a relationship with Jose, it is being said that I want 20 or more of his players. It's not true. Chalobah is a very good player," he said.

"We are working with Chelsea on players, but a number of other teams too, to try to improve our squad too."

Chalobah's link comes as he could end up swapping clubs with Grant Leadbitter as Forest look set to renew their interest in the Boro midfielder, having failed to sign him last summer.

Chalobah is currently at Forest and he will return to Stamford Bridge when his loan deal expires shortly, although he could be sent straight back out, with Boro one of those seemingly keen on landing the England Under-21 midfielder.

But, whilst Karanka is keen on Chalobah, he says he does not want to lose Leadbitter.

"It is 100 per cent that I would like to keep Grant," Karanka is quoted by the Northern Echo.

"Grant is an important player for us. But I am the coach. Above me is the club. If they feel there is a very good offer for one player then we will always study the offers.

"But Grant is important for us. I like a lot of things about him. I like his personality, his quality. I like how he trains every day, a lot of things."