Middlesbrough are reportedly eyeing up a January move for Genk striker Mbwana Samatta.
Tony Pulis is ready to spend in next month’s window to improve Boro’s fortunes in front of goal – and Samatta is top of his wish-list.
The lack of goals has been a perennial problem on Teesside in recent years, with managers not able to find the winning formula in the final third.
It has become ever more apparent this season, with Boro ranking as the lowest scorers in the top half of the Championship.
They are projected to reach 50 goals for the season at their current scoring rate. To put that into perspective, promotion rivals West Brom have already hit that figure.
Pulis now appears to be looking overseas to sharpen the attacking tools at his disposal.
Samatta has become an increasingly pivotal figure for Genk since his move to the Jupiler Pro League in 2016.
He has already scored a remarkable 21 goals in all competitions at the half-way stage of the season and is showing no signs of stopping.
The report states that the striker is likely to cost between £7-8million if Genk are prepared to sell – but Boro will no doubt face stiff competition should they act on their interest.
The 26-year-old possesses a clinical touch and a keen eye for goal, and is quick off the mark too, making him an ideal fit in a Middlesbrough side starved of pace.
“He is very comfortable on the ball, loves to drop deep in a bid to regain possession and can drive past defenders without creating a great deal of fuss with his pace, power and low balance.”A scouting report on Samatta from SportKeeda
A move for another striker in the winter window would almost certainly signal the end of Rudy Gestede’s time at the Riverside.
The Benin international is poised to depart next month, with Ipswich boss Paul Lambert keen to link up with the former Aston Villa man.
Martin Braithwaite’s future at the club is also up in the air. Boro may have to offload some of their high earners in order to spend big in January – and the Dane has been linked with a move away.
Swansea boss Graham Potter is reportedly a fan and is keen on negotiating a loan move for the attacker, who handed in a transfer request in the summer.