kike sola
Kike Sola has scored 5 goals in 26 appearances for Athletic Bilbao.Getty.

Middlesbrough appear to have given up in their pursuit of Chelsea striker Patrick Bamford, instead making a loan deal with Athletic Bilbao for their forward Kike Sola. Aitor Karanka's compatriot will join the club until the end of the season with the intent of giving an additional push to the club's charge for promotion.

Karanka said the door was "always open" for Bamford at the Riverside Stadium last month, after he scored 17 goals for the club last season and winning the Championship player of the year award.

"I think it's understandable that he is linked with us because he was really successful last season here," Karanka was quoted as saying by Gazette Live. "Everybody has a good relationship with him at this club. I have always said the door is open to him, I have a good relationship with him and we will try to make the best decision for everybody."

Chelsea's decision to cancel unimpressive Bamford's loan at Crystal Palace increased speculation about a return to the Championship leaders. However, with Sola now at the club, along with Christian Stuani, David Nugent, Kike Garcia and Diego Fabbrini in the attacking ranks, there would appear to be no room for the Chelsea starlet.

"The club has completed the loan signing of Enrique 'Kike' Sola Clemente from Athletic Bilbao," Middlesbrough confirmed.

"The 29-year-old has joined the club on loan until the end of the season and linked up with his new team-mates for the first time on Friday, ahead of the trip to Bristol City. "

Athletic signed Sola from Osasuna in 2013 after he netted nine La Liga goals for the Navarros the previous season. However, the 29-year-old striker has barely played at San Mames, being hit by injury. He has scored just 5 goals in 26 appearances during his two and a half seasons at the club.

Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink claimed earlier this week that Bamford will stay at in U21 side for the time being, after he failed to make a single Premier League start at Selhurst Park.

Hiddink said: "He hardly played at Palace so that's why he has to prove himself.

"He has to make a step because he didn't play so much over there. For the moment, he will stay with the Under-21s. To be honest, I have not seen so much [of Bamford playing]. I didn't have the opportunity to see him much in the Palace games on video."