sport

Karanka hopes for Abella deal

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka is hoping to finalise a deal for Damia Abella and has also acknowledged his interest in Danny Graham and Adam Clayton.

Experienced defender Abella is expected to sign a two-year contract at The Riverside after Boro agreed a deal with Osasuna earlier this week.

Karanka has been looking for a new right-back and he is confident that his fellow Spaniard fits the bill.

\"I know him very well because he has played in Spain for a long time,\" said Karanka. \"He is a very good player and a very good lad.

\"Abella is a powerful player with experience. He speaks English and is a player I would like to have.

\"The right-back position is the one that has been giving me most concern. It is a position where we have not really had anyone. But I have always said I would prefer to wait for another few days or another few weeks if it meant I could get the right player.\"

Karanka is also considering an approach to bring Graham back to Middlesbrough after the Sunderland striker spent the second half of last season on loan at his former club.

He added: \"One of the players we still need to bring in should be another striker. Could it be Graham? I don't know.

\"We are speaking about him. He is a player who could be possible for us.\"

Huddersfield midfielder Clayton is another target for Karanka amid reports a deal has stalled due to Jacob Butterfield's reluctance to move in the opposite direction.

Karanka said: \"I rate Adam very highly but at the moment he is not my player and I prefer to just speak about the ones I have.

\"I do not know what will happen but at the moment I will only say good things about Butterfield because he is a very good player.\"