Daniel Ayala to join Boro from Norwich City - Leeds Ross McCormack next?

GOAL ACE: Ross McCormack
GOAL ACE: Ross McCormack

MIDDLESBROUGH hope to tie up a deal to sign Norwich City centre-back Daniel Ayala – after agreeing a fee with the Canaries.

The 22-year-old former Liverpool defender will join Boro, initially on loan, with a view to a permanent deal for an undisclosed fee in the new year.

Ayala, an ex-Spain Under-21 international, has dropped down the pecking order at Carrow Road, with former Sunderland defender Michael Turner and Sebastien Bassong the first-choice centre-back pairing, and had 12 games on loan at Nottingham Forest last season.

Mowbray has yet to comment on Ayala, but says he is still waiting to hear back on “three of four bids” for players as his quest to add quality continues.

News circulated yesterday that Boro had tabled a fourth bid worth £2million for striker Ross McCormack of Leeds while Norwich forward Luciano Becchio, a one-time target, was also reportedly attracting the attention of Mogga.

“It’s wrong for me to discuss individual players who are employed by other clubs,” said the 49-year-old who is keen to enhance his squad before the September 2 transfer deadline.

He said: “Everyone knows we’re trying to help our current squad of players by trying to add some quality to it to make sure we have enough cover, enough quality, enough players moving forward so that if and when the inevitable injuries come we don’t suffer.

“We are pursuing other players (not just the reported players) at the same time.

“We are in conversation with two or three football clubs about some players. It’s unfair for me to comment on specifics.

“We can keep looking, keep trying to do the right things in the transfer market.

“The message to our supporters is that we are trying to strengthen and we’ll see what the next 10 days bring.”

It is unlikely that the team who is selected at Wigan on Sunday will include any new acquisitions.

Whoever Mowbray does manage to lure to Teesside, he is mindful that the individual must enhance the side.

“Ultimately, as a manager, it’s not easy,” he continued.

“You want the right balance, the right blend, because once they’ve signed they are your signings and you get judged on them.

“We are trying to be prudent, making sure the players we want are the ones who arrive and then hopefully the team gels and we win matches.”