Southgate eyeing home raids
By Robin Hackett. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Gareth Southgate has admitted he is looking at players in the lower divisions amid reports that Middlesbrough have had a bid for West Brom midfielder Zoltan Gera rejected.
Southgate has endured a difficult start to his career in management, with Middlesbrough currently sitting just two places clear of the relegation zone and, with the transfer window about to open, he is hoping to make some changes to his squad.
It is believed that the club made a £1.5million bid for Hungary international Gera, who has expressed his desire to return to the top flight in the past, but West Brom manager Tony Mowbray has already told interested clubs that he is not willing to let his prize assets leave.
But Southgate is well aware of the size of the task he faces in bringing in the right players and remains undeterred.
"There is a lot of talent in this country and in the lower divisions - it has been proven in the past," he said. "It is buying the right ones at the right time. Whether that be this time remains to be seen.
"You can't turn a blind eye to players in this country. I've tried to plan ahead. It's been less stressful than it was in June and July with all the phone calls.
"I am very focused on what needs to be done. We are slowly but surely doing what we want. We have to be realistic to what we can and can't afford. We have to move one or two people on. In certain departments we have too many, and in others we are too short.
"Every club needs to balance the books, apart from Chelsea, and we are no different."