Jelle Vossen: Middlesbrough deal must wait - Aitor Karanka

Jelle Vossen
Vossen has scored seven goals in 34 games during his loan spell

Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka says he cannot make a decision on the future of Jelle Vossen until the end of the current campaign.

The Belgium international striker, 26, is on a season-long loan from Genk, who had given Boro until 31 March to invoke first option for a permanent deal.

That deadline has passed, meaning any offer may be subject to competition.

"The case is that we can't think about next season when we don't know where we are," Karanka told BBC Tees.

"We are training every day thinking about the following game so I think it's fair and honest to wait until the end of the season, then we can speak about it."

Boro could be playing in the Premier League next season dependent on results between now and the end of the campaign, and are currently third in the Championship with 72 points - one behind leaders Bournemouth.

Vossen has played his role in the Teessiders's promotion bid, with seven goals in 34 games.

Meanwhile, defender Damia Abella's return from injury has coincided with his charge by a Spanish court as part of a match-fixing trial surrounding a match between former club Osasuna and Espanyol.

Abella was ruled out for a large chunk of the season with the knee problem suffered in September, and has returned to training.

"I don't think it's a big thing, as he's calm," Karanka said.

"He's training hard, he's an unbelievable pro and working very hard with the doctors and physios here and everyone expected he could be with us sooner.

"But those injuries are hard and hopefully he can be as well as soon as possible."

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