Middlesbrough’s summer business is set to continue this week as the club closes in on the signing of former Manchester City striker Álvaro Negredo.
Talks have been ongoing between the newly-promoted Premier League side and Valencia over the past number of days, and the two parties are thought to be close to finalising an agreement which would see Negredo move to the Riverside on a one year loan deal, with an option to buy for £10m at the end of the season.
Multiple sources (including the Telegraph and Middlesbrough Gazette) have confirmed that talks have taken place, though the latter does stress that there are still a few complications to be ironed out before the transfer can be confirmed.
Valencia had hoped to sell the 30-year-old on a permanent basis this summer, but Boro boss Aitor Karanka would only be prepared to commit to a permanent transfer if they were to avoid relegation from the Premier League.
The move would see Negredo return to the Premier League following his solitary season at the Etihad in 2013/14. Although he scored 23 goals in 48 games – not a terrible return by any means – only nine of those goals came in the league. He ended the season with league and league cup winners’ medals but he was deemed surplus to requirements by Man City boss Manuel Pellegrini at the end of the season.
His return to La Liga was not quite the success that Negredo would have hoped for. Signed to Valencia initially on a one year loan deal, the Spanish side were obligated to buy him for €27m. In two seasons at the Mestalla, the forward has scored just 18 goals in 76 matches, and has generally looked a shadow of his former self.
His poor form ultimately cost him his place in the Spanish national squad, but he will be hping that a run of form in new surroundings will endear him to whoever replaces Vincente del Bosque as La Roja manager.
Middlesbrough are also thought to be close to a deal for another Valencia player, former Liverpool right back Antonio Barragán. The 29-year-old has been told he can leave the club and is in line to join Negredo at the Riverside during the week.
The deals would add to what has already been an impressive transfer window for Middlesbrough. Former Manchester United and Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdés signed for the club last week, joining Viktor Fischer, Marten de Roon, Jordan McGhee and Bernardo as their new acquisitions.
Dortmund defender Neven Subotic, meanwhile, remains a £4m target.