Middlesbrough dream transfer window from here would have two more signings and a key new deal

As far as dream scenarios go for Middlesbrough this summer, getting three key signings through the door before the end of their first week of pre-season was up there.

It's always the desire of any club to get business done as early as possible to allow for more time to bed in before the season kicks off proper, it's not always the easiest task to complete, even with all the best will and planning in the world. Alas, very early this summer, things have been falling into place kindly for Boro as their pre-window preparation pays off.

Business is not quite done yet at Boro, though it's fair to say that the deals to bring Luke Ayling, Delano Burgzorg and Aidan Morris to the club are a key chunk of the incoming business Boro are expected to do this summer. But with a long way still to go until the end of the summer transfer window, what would the rest of it look like for Boro in a dream scenario? We take a closer look.

READ MORE: Middlesbrough in enviable position as next moves plotted out after Michael Carrick transfer wish

Two more signings

This was never intended to be a busy transfer window for Boro, with Michael Carrick stressing the importance of continuation after a strong end to last season and head of football Kieran Scott labelling the policy this summer as 'quality over quantity'.

With three through the door, there is one more signing to be made that was seen as a priority and that is of a new centre forward. They've made no secret of the fact that they would like to add another to their ranks in this window, with both Emmanuel Latte Lath and Josh Coburn suffering injury troubles last term that at times impacted results.

Keen to wait on the market and closely examine exactly what options might be available to them this summer, however, this signing was always going to be one they were more patient with than the rest. As various other deals start making more players available, Boro want to make sure they leave their options open and get the best possible option they can.

The kind of striker they sign will be interesting too. Though Burgzorg has joined this summer, Sammy Silvera will be leaving on loan imminently and that leaves Boro looking a little light numbers-wise in the forward areas. Versatility throughout the squad is their friend, but in an ideal world, the striker they identify might be one capable of playing as a striker but also either a wide forward or a number ten.

The second incoming transfer in a dream window would be the return of Ryan Giles. Boro are known to have an interest in bringing him back to the Riverside this summer after his hugely successful loan spell back in 2022-23.

Choosing at the end of that season to pursue a Premier League opportunity at Luton Town, things didn't work out and a January loan to Hull City included an obligation to buy which means he is now a Tigers player. But with Hull struggling with PSR this summer and needing to sell, Boro are hoping there might be a scenario in which they can get Giles back this summer, with the player himself keen should Hull decide he's not needed.

From Boro's perspective, it's not a transfer they're desperate to complete but merely just an appreciation that if it's an option, he will strengthen the squad. This is about dream scenarios, however, and having Giles back to torment defences down that left flank would be an immediate boost for Boro's promotion chances.

A key deal

Another deal that will feature highly on the dream scenario list would be a new contract for Riley McGree, who is now in the final 12 months of his Boro deal. Talks between the club and the player's representatives prior to the start of pre-season have so far failed to result in a deal.

McGree had a frustrating campaign last term due to injuries and mid-season international duty and in an interview in Australia didn't rule out the possibility of leaving this summer. Indeed, if an agreement can't be reached then the longer the window goes on, the more Boro will have to seriously consider a sale.

Given the obvious quality he possesses though, it will be a far better scenario for Boro if they can settle on acceptable terms that suit both parties. If they can't, it adds another to-do to the list for Boro because he will need replacing if he does leave.

No unexpected departures

As well as a potential unwanted departure for McGree, Boro's nightmare window would see huge offers come in for Rav van den Berg, Hayden Hackney and Latte Lath which ultimately turned the trio's heads. In the case of Van den Berg and Latte Lath, however, both have said they wish to stay at Boro for the upcoming season.

Interest is high in all three players but Boro remain strong in their stance of not being willing to sell this summer. Owner Steve Gibson has been described as 'bullish' on the matter. Arguably just as important as any transfer business Boro do complete this summer, if Van den Berg, Hackney and Latte Lath are all still Boro players when the window closes at 11 pm on Friday, August 30 it will be a huge win for Boro.

Trimming the squad

That said, Boro do want to try and trim their squad in certain areas this summer. Carrick is keen not to have too big a squad despite last season's injury problems. Convinced their work on that front means that picture will improve in the new season, the Boro boss is wary of carrying too many players next term and therefore risking morale as he struggles to offer adequate game-time to certain players.

Just as significant, ridding the squad of certain fringe players will also reduce the wage bill and potentially provide funds that will help the club continue to comply with PSR. Hayden Coulson and Bryant Bilongo have already been sold while Sammy Silvera is closing in on a loan move to Portsmouth.

Dan Barlaser has been linked with a move to Turkey, while, with five goalkeepers currently on the books, two are likely to need to leave too. Anfernee Dijskteel has just 12 months left on his deal and likely seeks more game time after struggling to break in under Carrick. However, the uncertain situation around Tommy Smith's recovery from a long-term injury slightly complicates that sale for now. Matthew Hoppe too, is expected to move on when the MLS transfer window opens later this month.