Boro chase former Mackem
Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray hopes to return former Sunderland midfielder Dean Whitehead to the North-East.
Whitehead has spent the past seven years at Stoke City but officially becomes a free-agent at the beginning of next month. That has not only alerted Boro but also a number of their Championship rivals, including both Derby County and Burnley.
The 31-year-old already has more than 450 senior appearances to his credit having originally begun his career at Oxford United, and is a former playing colleague of Boro midfielder Grant Leadbitter at the Stadium of Light.
But he was sold for £5m by Sunderland four years ago and has since proved a regular under Stoke boss Tony Pulis until his recent departure from the Britannia Stadium.