EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke

Middlesbrough striker Rudy Gestede faces around three months on the sidelines with a leg injury, Football Insider sources understand.

The former Blackburn and Aston Villa striker has been forced to undergo surgery to correct the problem, which was sustained in Boro’s goalless draw with Preston North End just prior to the international break.

A well-placed source told Football Insider that Gestede, 28, is not expected back until December in what is a hammer blow to Garry Monk, who quit Leeds to take over at Boro during the summer.

Coincidentally, Gestede was a strong target for United during the summer transfer window as a replacement for Chris Wood.

Middlesbrough rejected Leeds’ £5.5million bid for the Benin international last month with Monk keen to keep the player at the Riverside.

Gestede played the full 90 minutes of the game against Preston and had established himself as strike partner to Britt Assombalonga in the Boro starting XI.

Gestede only joined Middlesbrough from Aston Villa in January and he has scored three goals in 26 appearances.

In other Leeds United transfer news, the club have secured an out of window striker signing after agreeing the terms of a deal.

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