Johnson pinpointed by Town

ADAM Johnson has been pinpointed as the answer to Town's left-sided conundrum.

Derek Davis

ADAM Johnson has been pinpointed as the answer to Town's left-sided conundrum.

The EADT can reveal the Blues have formally asked Gareth Southgate about taking the England Under-21 but Jim Magilton faces competition from 11 other Championship clubs trying pin down the 20-year-old on loan.

The Middlesbrough left-winger is frustrated at playing second fiddle to international Stewart Downing and wants first team football, even if it means dropping down a division.

Southgate has already refused to let him got to SPL side Rangers, especially with a feat that Downing could be tempted away, but with loan deal with Premier League clubs now having to be done in the transfer window, he could allow him to leave on Monday.

Although not talking about Johnson by name Magilton admitted if a player of his quality was making it clear he wanted regular football then he would be interested.

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Magilton said: “If there was a player like that available I would be in there like Flynn.”

Johnson has previously had loan spells at Leeds United and Watford, where he scored five goals in 12 league games last season. He made his professional debut when just 17 in the UEFA Cup for 'Boro against Sporting Lisbon and has made almost 50 Premier League appearances.

Magilton is also moving closer to securing the striker he has been lusting after all summer and admits that might to start out as a loan deal.

David Nugent is still a possibility but if that, and another target he is tracking, does not happen, then Magilton may look at West Ham's Carlton Cole who has suddenly become available, although Town had not yet made a move for the former

Magilton said: “If something not going to happen before Monday then it gives us an opportunity to go and maybe get someone on loan.

“If it's not on loan then we can do our homework for January as well.

“The loan market is an escape valve but there is a sense of urgency from pre-season to this window to get deals done and we need to settle down. We need to get our outs out and get a balance to our squad and get cracking.”

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk