Middlesbrough are leading Premier League clubs Bournemouth and West Ham, as well as fellow Championship sides Birmingham City and Reading, in pursuing a deal for Chelsea midfielder Lewis Baker, according to the Daily Mail.
Gary Monk’s side are looking at signing the 22 year old on a two year loan spell, and are believed to be favourites as they are offering better first team opportunities than either the Hammers or the Cherries.
With Chelsea having already allowed Ruben Loftus-Cheek to leave on loan for Crystal Palace, and having sold Nathaniel Chalobah to Watford, manager Antonio Conte is already light in the middle of the park.
Baker, along with N’Golo Kante and Cesc Fabregas are the clubs only fit senior central midfield players currently, with new signing Tiemoue Bakayoko still sidelined with a knee injury.
The departure of Nemanja Matic to Manchester United was described as a “great loss” by Conte earlier this week, and he will have to consider whether the squad can afford to lose Baker as well.