Middlesbrough boss Gordon Strachan has claimed his side are an ideal stepping stone for lower league players to reach the top flight.
Strachan has already secured the signature of one of League One's brightest talents, with Nicky Bailey moving to the Riverside from Charlton, while they also had an offer for Rochdale centre-back Craig Dawson rejected earlier in the summer.
Speaking to the Northern Echo, Strachan believes Boro are an ideal stop for players reaching the Premier League: "There's too much of a step now to go from League One or Two up to the Premier League," he said. "So this is a good step for the next level."
He added: "Whether we go to the next level as a group or someone like Nicky goes to Manchester United, I don't have a problem with that. Either way, it means he will have been very good for us.
"If we can go there as a group, then even better, but it will have been very beneficial for us either way."
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