Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka has admitted that Chelsea starlet Patrick Bamford is unlikely to return to the Riverside during the current transfer window as he predicts the player's future is in the Premier League.
The 21-year-old forward was named the Championship player of the year in the 2014-2015 campaign after scoring 17 goals in 38 league appearances to help Karanka's side to a fourth-place finish in the Championship.
The Spanish boss was expected to secure Bamford's services on loan for another season should Boro be promoted to the Premier League, but after their defeat against Norwich City, he appears to accept the Chelsea starlet's future lies away from the Riverside.
"I don't think Patrick is coming because he showed everybody last season that he can play in the Premier League," Karanka told the Northern Echo.
After spending the last three campaigns on loan at Milton Keynes Dons, Derby County and Middlesbrough, Karanka believes the youngster has proved he is ready to play in the top flight and will have offers from a number of clubs both in the Premier League and abroad.
"I am sure he has offers to play in the Premier League, and also to play in other countries," the Spaniard added.
Having joined Stamford Bridge in 2012 from Nottingham Forest, Bamford previously expressed his hopes his future is with the Blues.
However, following the arrival of Radamel Falcao on loan from Monaco – and with Diego Costa and Loic Remy also in Jose Mourinho's ranks – his short-term future in west London looks uncertain.
Meanwhile, the Northern Echo says that Karanka, who was Mourinho's assistant during the Portuguese's tenure at Real Madrid, is still considered the loans of Chelsea duo Nathan Ake and Tomas Kalas after the latter already spent the second part of last season at the Riverside.