As they prepare to end their seven-year exile from the Premier League, Middlesbrough have been linked with a shock move for Tim Krul from local rivals Newcastle United.
The two north-east sides swapped places this summer, with the Magpies dropping down into the Championship, but Teessiders boss Aitor Karanka is reportedly keen on bringing the experienced Krul to the Riverside.
The Dutch stopper suffered a knee injury in October, which brought his season to an early-end, and Krul has since seen Rafael Benitez bring in Matz Sels from Belgian club Gent.
Boro were also in the hunt for Sels, but their attention has now switched to Krul.
With Rob Elliott and Karl Darlow also at St James’ Park, Krul could be the man to move on with just a year left on his contract with the Toon.
Having also been linked with Shay Given this term, it’s quite clear that Karanka is keen to at least bring in competition for current number Dimi Konstantopolous, if not oust him.
The Greek keeper turns 38 in November, and for all his excellent form over the last two seasons, Konstantopolous has never played Premier League football before.
So the concern is that if Boro don’t sign a new keeper, and Konstantopolous fails to cope with the step up, the club could be in trouble until the January window.
The Riverside club are also closing in on Dutch midfielder Marten de Roon from Atalanta, with the club keen to invest in several areas of the pitch.
Rated third-favourites at 5/4 by the bookies to make an instant return to the Championship, it’s no wonder Boro are keen to get their house in order before the campaign kicks off in August.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.