With no Middlesbrough player bettering David Nugent’s tally of eight Championship goals last term, the newly-promoted Premier League club are in desperate need of striking reinforcements, and they seem to be barking up the right tree if you believe the papers.
Boss Aitor Karanka must be hopeful new signing Viktor Fischer will share some of the goal burden, with the 22-year-old winger notching 24 times in 79 Eredivisie matches for Ajax over the past four seasons, but Boro clearly need some punchy Premier League experience up front.
Step forward former Sevilla and Manchester City centre-forward Alvaro Negredo, dubbed ‘the Beast’ during his time at both clubs, who is reportedly some way down the line with a loan move from Valencia to the Riverside Stadium.
If Boro big chief Steve Gibson manages to coax Negredo to the North East it will be seen as a significant coup, as the 21-cap Spaniard’s goal record in England was much better than his swift exit after just one year in Manchester suggested.
Negredo bagged an impressive tally of 23 strikes in all competitions for City, and while his goals drying up at the end of January of 2013/14 may be cited as evidence of the Madrid native being found out, nine Premier League efforts from just 21 starts can’t be ignored.
City will feel vindicated for getting much of their £22m outlay on the player back following his move to Los Che two years ago, with Negredo bagging just 18 times in 76 outings for the Mediterranean coast club, but Valencia have been something of a ‘basket case’ for some time, so he shouldn’t be judged too harshly.
Middlesbrough are also being linked with Borussia Dortmund centre-half Neven Subotic, another shrewd signing in the making.
Subotic has struggled with multiple injury woes over the past three campaigns, managing just 67 appearances in all competitions for BvB during that period, but the 27-year-old, two-time Bundesliga winner must be seen as a risk worth taking for a club like Boro.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.