Italian eyes on Festa

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GIANLUCA FESTA'S recent threat that he will leave Middlesbrough if he cannot obtain regular first team football has alerted two clubs from his homeland.

Serie A duo Brescia and Torino are believed to be keen to end the former Internazionale defender's exile in England, should he be allowed to quit The Riverside.

After earning a surprise recall recently, the 32-year-old blasted home a priceless winner against Everton, but Ugo Ehiogu's return to fitness could mean another spell on the sidelines for the Italian.

Boro continue to be linked in the foreign press with a move for Atalanta's Massimo Paganin, who was previously a target for the Teessiders.

However, Steve McClaren's priority would appear to be a striker, after failing to land Manchester United-bound Diego Forlan, and Boro do appear to have a number of defenders already on their books.

The North East side have also been credited with an interest in Macclesfield midfielder Rickie Lambert.