According to Sky Sports, Middlesbrough are close to agreeing a season-long loan deal for Spanish striker Alvaro Negredo.
The former-Manchester City striker is currently plying his trade in his homeland at Valencia.
The striker is expected on Teesside to have a medical later this week if the two clubs can strike a deal. It is believed that the 30-year-old fancies another crack at playing in the English top-flight.
Previous experience of playing in England
Alvaro Negredo has of course plied his trade in the Premier League before with Manchester City. The striker spent a year in Manchester and was not a complete flop after a move from Sevilla.
In 49 appearances for the Citizens the Spaniard scored 23 goals and also produced eight assists, which is not a terrible return considering that the striker did not start every game at City. He made a bright start, but faded and his last competitive goal for the Citizens came in January 2014.
The Spanish striker helped City win the Premier League title and League Cup in his lone campaign at City. In fact he finished as the leading scorer in the League Cup.
The fact that the striker spent just a season in the Premier League may mean that the experienced Spanish international will feel like he has a point to prove in English football.
Still has a lot to offer
In truth Negredo has struggled to find his best form since his reported 27million Euro move to Valencia. He was frozen out last season by then Los Ches boss Nuno Espirito Santo after the striker questioned his decisions.
He was brought back into the first team squad during Gary Neville’s ill-fated short stint in charge of the club, but he could not rediscover his scoring form.
Despite being 30 and not heading to the north east in the best of form Negredo still offers any team a lot as a focal point of an attack. If he plays regularly and avoids injury problems then he could still be a very good signing for Boro.
Negredo is an excellent target man and until his short stint at Valencia was relatively prolific in front goal. The north east club were not prolific last season, despite finishing as runners-up in the Championship last season and winning promotion.
In fact Aitor Karanka’s side were the lowest scorers in the Championship top six, but their solid defensive record was enough to secure promotion. Negredo would definitely add something to the goal-shy Boro attack next season. His strength and hold-up play would be the obvious qualities the Spaniard will bring to Karanka’s team.
Middlesbrough one of the favourites for relegation
The north east club will begin their Premier League campaign as one of the favourites for relegation at odds of 11/8, which is the usual position for a club who has just been promoted from the Championship.
Middlesbrough have been in the second tier for the past seven years, but this summer the clubs hierarchy have been ambitious. Boro have already snapped-up former-Barcelona and Manchester United ‘keeper Victor Valdes on a free transfer.
They are also reported to be hoping to sign Dortmund centre-back Neven Subotic in an £8million move, after the Serbian international was given permission to speak to travel to the north east. However they are reportedly now facing competition from both Arsenal and Liverpool.
The three mooted moves would suggest that the north east club are thinking big this summer. An increase television deal will help the club fund the expensive moves. There is also likely to be far more activity at the Riverside Stadium this summer.
Despite the seeming down turn in his career, Negredo would still have to be regarded as a big signing for Middlesbrough this summer, as the club from the north east look to avoid the drop to the second tier next season.
If Boro continue to strengthen in an ambitious manner this summer then it will ease any of the clubs fans worries about an immediate return to the second tier.
Will Alvaro Negredo be a good signing for Middlesbrough?