Boro defender would be City's No 1 target

Middlesbrough defender Jonathan Grounds remains a target for City in the January transfer window - but hopes of getting him back to Carrow Road look slim.

Middlesbrough defender Jonathan Grounds remains a target for City in the January transfer window - but hopes of getting him back to Carrow Road look slim.

The 20-year-old played five times for the Canaries in September before being recalled early from his loan spell because of Boro' boss Gareth Southgate's injury problems.

"We need a big man, we need height and Jonathan Grounds would be my number one target," said City manager Glenn Roeder. "We've asked the question but he's too close to the first team at Middlesbrough."

Grounds has appeared only twice in Boro's senior side since his recall but was on the bench as recently as the 1-1 draw against Arsenal three weeks ago.


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Another of Roeder's former Boro' loanees has returned to first team action for the first time since suffering a knee injury playing for City in February.

"Matthew Bates played for the first team at Manchester United the other night, which is fantastic for him," said Roeder. "They are two boys who made a big impression when they were here with us."

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Bates has said he is prepared to go out on loan again, but Monday's recall at Old Trafford may have changed that.

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