Middlesbrough continue strong Prem prep with Valencia defender pursuit

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Middlesbrough are continuing to ramp up their preparations for this season’s return to the Premier League campaign, with reports linking the Teessiders with Valencia defender Antonio Barragan.

Aitor Karanka has already welcomed the impressive Marten de Roon from Atalanta, plus Bernado Espinosa from Sporting Gijon and Viktor Fischer from Ajax.

That’s before we’ve even mentioned Victor Valdes, with the former Barcelona and Manchester United stopper bringing a wealth of quality and experience to the Riverside Stadium.

It all points to an optimistic outlook for Boro, who will make their Premier League return at home to Stoke next month, after a seven-year absence.

Now Karanka is looking to expand Middlesbrough’s defensive options with Valencia’s Barragan, who has made over 130 appearances for the La Liga outfit in the last five seasons.

The Spaniard would find himself playing alongside compatriots Valdes and Espinosa, plus Boro favourites Daniel Ayala and Tomas Meijis should he make the move to the north east.

Barragan is no stranger to English shores, briefly joining Liverpool as an 18-year-old, although he only made on appearance for the Reds, in a Champions League qualifier.

A dependable right-back, Barragan is valued at just over £3m by transfermarkt.co.uk, and with a contract expiring next summer, Valencia may be happy to sell should Boro come in with an offer.

The 29-year-old may yet see another familiar face at the Riverside, with reports linking the Teessiders with a move for Barragan’s current Valencia team-mate Alvaro Negredo.

There’s still a long way to go before Karanka lands either target, but it is the latest show of ambition for Middlesbrough as they look to re-establish themselves in the top tier of English football.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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