Boro join Arca chase
By Graeme Bailey. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Middlesbrough have joined Spanish side Espanyol in the race to sign Sunderland's Julio Arca.
Boro are set to give Arca the option of remaining in England, when at one point he seemed destined for La Liga.
Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate is understood to still be considering his options for next season - one of which may include starting with wing-backs, which would give extra credence to the interest in Arca.
The Teesside club also look like they may well lose the services of Franck Queudrue after he reiterated his intention to quit the club - so Arca could also help cover his potential loss.
North East reports suggest that following talks between Boro and The Black Cats, the Championship side agreed to leave Arca out of their pre-season game at Rotherham.
With the collapse of Robert Huth's transfer Southgate is yet to conclude his first transfer - although the Chelsea man does look set to join on loan with a view to a permanent deal.
Boro are also still continuing talks with Manchester City over both Joey Barton and Sylvain Distin - although deals for either player look far from certain.