Middlesbrough 'battling' Championship rivals to land £5million Wigan forward with Leeds and Celtic also keen

Middlesbrough have been credited with a strong interest in £5million-rated Wigan Athletic forward Nick Powell.

The 24-year-old is Wigan's star player with a host of clubs interested in landing him.

The deadline for permanent deals closed earlier this month but he could still leave on loan before Friday's 5pm deadline,with a view to a permanent deal in January.

Clearly Wigan would be reluctant to lose their star player but he is in the final year of his contract and TeamTalk report Wigan value the forward at £5m.

Premier League clubs Brighton and Burnley have previously shown interest while Aston Villa, Derby County, Stoke, West Brom, Leeds and Boro are all understood to be keen.

Scottish champions Celtic have also been linked with a possible move.

Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis is still looking to strengthen his squad ahead of the deadline.

Pulis has made no secret of his wish to bring in forward players - with the priority wingers - and would ideally like to bolster his squad before Friday night's game against Leeds United.