Late news tonight, being reported by The Daily Mail, that Middlesbrough are interested in taking Newcastle striker Alan Smith to the Riverside Stadium in January on a permanent deal.
Alan Smith – Middlesbrough join the race for him
Everton are reported to have been keen to sign Alan in the summer, and would like to take him on loan in January, but they may be pipped by Middlesbrough, who could sign him on a permanent deal this month.
Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate must be desperate to add some steel to his young team, and Alan Smith can certainly give them that, either up front or in defensive midfield.
And it seems that Alan is one of the players Newcastle would be willing to move on in January, since they are well endowed in the striker positions, and would also like to relieve the wage bill, since the former Manchester United and Leeds striker is on £60K a week wages on Tyneside.
Smith has been out since early September with an Achilles injury, but is set to return to training next week, and he should be ready to play within a couple of weeks.
It seems that Southgate would rather buy him now than lose him to Everton, who are keen to get him on a loan deal in January, and then sign him permanently in the summer, when they will have some transfer funds available.
But this has to be good news for Newcastle and Joe Kinnear, if it’s true, and no doubt if this goes further Boro will need to ensure Alan has fully recovered from his Achilles injury, and then there is the small matter of the fee.
The general figure quoted in August was around £3M, but that may go higher if Middlesbrough want to quickly secure the former England striker.