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Friends become enemies at the Riverside

Middlesbrough Boss Aitor Karanka admits his close relationship with Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino will be put to one side as both clubs face each other in the premier league this weekend.

The pair struck up a tight bond while completing their coaching badges.

Tottenham go into the game unbeaten in the league this season. Boro hope to bounce back from last weekend's chasening defeat at Everton and the Head Coach says friendship doesn't matter once the whistle blows.

We did the license course together and we have a really good relationship. We have had a few players from Tottenham a two years ago so i'm looking forward to the start of the game

But after the referee blows his whistle we won't be friends for 90 minutes.

Tottenham have a clear plan. It's an organised team.

They put pressure on really well and as a team. They are really organised when they don't have the ball and when they do have the ball. It's gonna be a difficult game but it's nice to prepare for that type of game because you can do something to try and surprise them"

– Aitor Karanka

No Kane certainly doesn't equal no problem for Boro

Aitor Karanka insists that a Harry Kane-less Spurs will still be a handful for Middlesbrough at the Riverside on Saturday.

Mauricio Pochettino's side head north with an unbeaten league record, but without Kane. The England Centre Forward is out with an ankle injury.

During this week's pre-match press conference this week, a hypothetical question was put to the Boro boss: whether losing Alvaro Negredo would be as big a loss for Middlesbrough than the absence of Kane is to Spurs?

Here is the Spaniard's answer.

We will miss Alvaro more than they will miss Harry Kane because they have really good players and they have much more players to play.

They have an amazing squad and for sure Mauricio will put another player, maybe not as good as Harry Kane but the player who plays will be really really motivated because he has his chance"

– Aitor Karanka

Summer signing Vincent Janssen looks set to replace Kane for Tottenham, while Cristian Stuani and Jordan Rhodes are back in contention for Boro.

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Boro transfer update - Reach to move to Sheffield Wednesday

Boro's Albert Adomah joins Aston Villa for undisclosed fee

Middlesbrough's Albert Adomah has joined Aston Villa for an undisclosed fee.

The 28-year-old Ghanaian international leaves Teesside after three years at Boro and 143 appearances for the club.

Credit: PA

Adomah made 43 appearances during Boro’s promotion winning season and has featured twice this term, his final appearance coming as a second half substitute during the 2-1 win at Sunderland 10 days ago.

Didier Ndong signs for Sunderland

Sunderland AFC have completed the signing of the Gabon international Didier Ndong from French side Lorient, for a fee of 16 million euros.

Ndong joins the Black Cats on a five-year deal.

“I am very proud and happy to sign for Sunderland. This is a new adventure for me and to play in the Premier League is a dream come true.

“Maybe the Sunderland fans don’t know me yet, but I promise that they will quickly discover that I will give everything for them and the club. It will be an honour to wear the Sunderland shirt and I will wear it with a true understanding of what it means.

“I am excited to meet everyone at the club, to see the stadium and of course the fans, who I have heard so many good things about. Today is the most beautiful day of my life.”

– Didier Ndong
  • 22-year-old arrives on Wearside having made 46 appearances for the Ligue 1 team since joining them in January 2015.
  • A right-footed central midfielder, he began his career at Tunisian outfit CS Sfaxien, where he made 40 appearances for the club before signing for Lorient.
  • He has also been a mainstay in the Gabon side in recent years, with 18 caps for his country after making his debut for the national team in 2012.
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