With the strong connections between Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka and Chelsea head coach Jose Mourinho, it was no surprise to see Kenneth Omeruo and Nathaniel Chalobah spend time at the Riverside Stadium last season.
It was also no surprise to see former Real Madrid defender Karanka recall Omeruo for the duration of the 2014/15 season.
However, despite the Championship season starting last weekend, it appears as if Karanka is still looking to strengthen his squad - and scouring the Chelsea reserve squad seems to be his preferred method of recruitment.
According to Sky Sports, Boro have held talks with Patrick Bamford and George Saville, whilst also keeping tabs on Lewis Baker. 20-year old Bamford spent last season on loan at MK Dons and Derby County, scoring 22 league goals for both clubs, and helping the Rams to the Championship Play-Off Final.
Central midfielder Saville, 21, was with League One side Brentford last season, featuring 40 times and scoring three goals as the Bees achieved automatic promotion to the second division. The youngest of the trio, 19 year old Baker has yet to spend a spell away from Stamford Bridge, although he is highly rated by the Blues management, and he made his first-team debut in an FA Cup tie in January 2014.
Despite winning 2-0 on the opening day of the season, Karanka is keen on adding Bamford to his striking options, with the England Under-21 international regarded as one of the brightest prospects in English football.
However, Boro's Championship rivals Wolves are also keen on the Blues youngsters, although the West London club are keen to see their future stars move to the North-East. The strong friendship between Mourinho and Karanka gives Chelsea unhindered access to the trio, and grants the Portuguese boss control over the youngsters progress.
All three players have proven that they have match-winning quality, and, despite rival interest, Middlesbrough are confident that it will be their own matches that the Blues youngsters will be winning.
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