Former Middlesbrough skipper Matthew Bates training with Bristol City

Matthew Bates: Training with Bristol City

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Matthew Bates is training with Bristol City, the Championship club have confirmed.

The 25-year-old has recently returned to full training following a fifth cruciate knee ligament operation.

Bates was training with Middlesbrough, but had been out of contract since the summer.

He held talks with Boro over a new deal, but they could not agree terms so he moved on.

Now he has linked up with Bristol City, and their boss Derek McInnes said: "He's left Middlesbrough and is pleased to be training with us.

"Obviously he needs to build his fitness up after his latest injury, and we'll be having a look at him for a week or so."

Sky Sports also understands that a host of Premier League and Championship clubs are monitoring Bates's situation.

Southampton, Swansea, Wigan, West Ham, Leeds, Bolton and Hull City are all thought to be considering a move for Bates - who can play in defence or midfield.