By Danny Wright
Championship promotion candidates Middlesbrough are planning to raid Nottingham Forest for striker Britt Assombalonga, according to a report.
Sky Sports claimed in their live transfer blog on Tuesday [10:23am] that Garry Monk is looking to make the 24-year-old ace his first signing at the Riverside since taking the vacant manager job.
It is understood that the Forest first-teamer is Monk’s top priority this summer after taking official charge of Boro on Monday.
Middlesbrough were relegated from the Premier League this season and are joint favourites with Aston Villa on SkyBet at 7/1 to win the Championship next year and secure promotion back to the top flight at the first time of asking.
A player like Assombalonga could certainly cure Boro’s lack of goals, as the former Peterborough man has made a habit of finding the net with the Reds over the past few seasons.
He moved to the City Ground in 2014 on a five-year deal which could end up costing Forest up to £8million after an initial £5million bid was made.
Assombalonga scored 14 goals in 32 Championship appearances for the Reds this term as they managed to avoid relegation to the third tier.
He scored a vital brace on the final day of the campaign to see Mark Warburton’s side stay up on goal difference in a 3-0 win over Ipswich.
Football Insider Verdict
Forest supporters have started to look at the future with a bit more promise following their escape from relegation and a change of ownership. Warburton could be the manager to take the East Midlands giants towards the top end of the Championship table, but he would only be able to do that with a player like Assombalonga in his side. Forest simply cannot afford to lose the striker, who has been so crucial in finding the net over the past few years. If they were without him this season, the Reds would be preparing for life in League One. However Middlesbrough could be too good to turn down for Assombalonga, who could be looking towards playing in the Premier League in the future.
In other Nottingham Forest news, Warburton is close to making this attacker his first summer signing after he agreed personal terms with the Reds.