Boro near Pogatetz deal

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Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson has revealed that a deal is close to being finalised for Austrian defender Emanuel Pogatetz.

Boro boss Steve McClaren has held a long-standing interest in the full back, having been impressed with the player while with AK Graz, but was initially warned off by Bayer Leverkusen.

The Teessiders were not put off by the rebuttal and their persistence looks set to be rewarded.

"It's no secret we are close to finalising a deal for him," Gibson told the club's website. "We think he will strengthen the squad and there are still details to sort out."

Bayer are believed to be demanding ‚é¼3 million for Pogatetz, a sum which is well within Boro's capabilities and a deal looks like being tied up before the players return for pre-season.

Gibson has not ruled out other raids on the transfer market, with the midfield an area he feels needs reinforcing.

"We're always looking to improve the squad and we would like to strengthen the midfield," added Gibson.