Middlesbrough enter the chase for Udinese’s Mr Dependable

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After welcoming in nine new faces to the Riverside Stadium this summer, you could have been forgiven for thinking Middlesbrough had completed their pre-season preparations, but reports this week suggest Aitor Karanka is far from finished.

The latest target is believed to be Udinese’s midfielder Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu.

The 25-year-old has been in Udine since 2010, racking up over 150 appearances, and the Ghanaian international came close to joining Stoke 12 months ago.

But having featured against Boro just last week in a pre-season friendly, the holding midfielder has seemingly caught Karanka’s eye.

And in these modern times, plenty was made of Badu’s goodwill message on social media following that friendly clash.

And then this really got people thinking…

Crystal Palace, Sunderland and West Ham are also rumoured to be courting Badu’s signature, and with transfermarkt.co.uk slapping a £5m tag on Zebrette’s number seven, he’s certainly within budget for any Premier League outfit.

Badu made 25 appearances in Serie A last season, helping Udinese finish 16th, and though breaking-up play is his forte, he’s handy at the other end too with four goals and two assists last term.

Having welcomed Champions League-winning goalkeeper Victor Valdes, La Liga goal-buster Alvaro Negredo, plus the talented Marten de Roon from Atalanta this summer, many thought Boro had completed their summer business.

But this is the latest sign of ambition from Karanka and the Teessiders, who appear to be making excellent progress as they bid to re-establish themselves in the Premier League following a seven-year absence.

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

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Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.