Middlesbrough boss Gordon Strachan has confirmed he remains in talks with striker Marcus Bent over a second spell at the Riverside Stadium.
The Birmingham frontman has returned to the Midlands after his loan spell came to an end, but with Dave Kitson now back at Stoke and Leroy Lita suspended for Saturday's FA Cup third round clash with Manchester City, Strachan's need is great.
He said: "Dave was only going to be here for six weeks and I am still speaking to Marcus right now.
"Jeremie (Aliadiere) is injured, Leroy - you know about Leroy - and that's it. The strikers have gone from the equation at the moment."