Boro could turn to Villa man
Middlesbrough could make an ambitious move for out-of-favour Aston Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland.
The 26-year-old appears certain to leave this summer and a loan move to the Championship remains a possibility due to his high wages at Villa Park.
Both Stoke City are Everton have also been linked with the former Republic of Ireland international but the Riverside still remains a realistic alternative.
Ireland currently has twelve months remaining on his existing deal and made seventeen appearances for Villa last season. He also had an unsuccessful loan stint at Newcastle United a couple of years ago when injury severely restricted his progress.