Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka has confirmed that he's held talks with Chelsea striker Patrick Bamford over a possible loan move to the Riverside Stadium and is now waiting on a decision from the youngster.
The 20-year-old is currently weighing up his options for the 2014/15 campaign, but looks set to leave west London again to continue his development with the guarantee of regular first-team football.
Bamford has previously enjoyed successful spells on loan with Derby County and MK Dons, and was rewarded for his recent form with a place in Chelsea's pre-season tour squad.
However, the £32 million arrival of Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid and return of club legend Didier Drogba to Stamford Bridge this summer means that first-team opportunities will be difficult to come by in Jose Mourinho's side this season.
The Portuguese coach is therefore happy for the England U21 international to take in another stint away from the club, with Middlesbrough now looking like the most likely destination.
Aitor Karanka quotes:
"I hope Patrick will be with us as soon as possible but it's not in my hands," Karanka told the Championship club's official website.
"I've spoken with him and given him my trust that I believe he can be a very good player for us because we only have Kike as a striker at the minute.
"At the moment it's up to him. I've spoken to Jose [Mourinho] and Chelsea are happy for him to come, we want him so hopefully we can persuade him to come and have him as our player."
Summer of change
Chelsea appear to be overhauling their striker department this summer having already allowed Romelu Lukaku and Demba Ba depart. The Belgium international penned a permanent deal with Everton - the club he spent the 2013/14 campaign on loan at - joining in a club record £28 million deal.
Ba, meanwhile, decided to take up a new challenge in Turkey with Besiktas having grown increasingly frustrated by his lack of regular action since Mourinho's return to Stamford Bridge last summer. He was sold for a cut-price £4.7 million fee.
There also remains some doubts about Fernando Torres's future in west London, with suggestions the £50 million flop could leave Chelsea before the transfer window closes on September 1.
It's clear that Bamford still has a future with the Blues but might be better served leaving for another short-term spell away from the capital.
"Patrick would be a great addition to our squad," added Boro's Spanish head coach. "He's young, English and he's got a great future.
"He's bright and he can good be a good addition to our team. Last week it was Clayton coming in and I hope next it will be Patrick."