Empoli hope to land Maccarone

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Empoli are still confident of being able to sign Massimo Maccarone on loan from Middlesbrough.

The Italian striker has failed to really prove his worth on Teesside, despite a hugely promising opening to life in England, and may be allowed to leave on a temporary basis if Steve McClaren succeeds in his bid to bring a new forward to The Riverside this month.

Empoli, Maccarone's former club, are keen to conclude a six-month loan deal for the shaven-headed hit-man.

"About ten days ago, Middlesbrough officials looked for us," claimed Empoli president Fabrizio Corsi.

"This week, they hid themselves but, at the beginning of next week, we will meet them to close the operation."

Whether the move is dependent upon Boro's bid to sign Liverpool star Emile Heskey, which looks unlikely in the wake of Gerard Houllier's latest comments, is unclear.

However, Corsi remains bullish about his chances of thrashing out a transfer.

"There is Maccarone's will only to come to Empoli if he comes back to Italy," stressed the Empoli supremo.