- Thursday, 21 June 2012
- Written by Modou Lamin Beyai
Gambia Sports Online has learnt that English Championship side Middlesbrough FC will be stepping up their interest in Bristol Rovers winger Mustapha Carayol this week.
With a deal to sign Walsall playmaker Emmanuel Ledesma imminent and Grant Leadbitter officially becoming a Boro player on July 1, Carayol could well be Tony Mowbray’s third signing of the summer.
Rovers seem resigned to losing their star player, who is entering the final year of his contract.
Manager Mark McGhee, however, insists any club wanting to sign the 23-year-old must meet the club’s valuation.
“I have a clear picture in my mind of his value,” said McGhee. “We’d love to keep Muzzy here but we’ve got to be fair to him as well.”
“We respect his views in all of this but my first priority is Bristol Rovers. I have to do the job of making sure anybody who leaves here we get the full value for them.”
Boro are believed to be the front runners in the chase for Carayol’s signature but several other Championship clubs are keeping tabs on the situation. McGhee admits it’s unlikely he’ll be able to keep the Gambia-born wideman, whose previous clubs include Torquay and Lincoln City.
“When a boy is presented with an opportunity that improves his prospects financially, you can understand him considering it,” he said. “Aside from that, there’s an opportunity to play two leagues above us.
“If it’s a choice between playing in League Two and the Championship, I know what I would do. But we believe we had a good future here with the way the board are thinking and a new stadium. Maybe there’s some story we can tell Muzzy to convince him to stay here in the long term.”
Muzzy Carayol, who may cost in the region of £200,000, tended to play on the left wing for Rovers, often cutting inside onto his right foot to shoot or cross, though he’s also capable of beating a full-back for pace and crossing with his left.