Jonathan Woodgate has ex-Manchester United youngster on his radar as Middlesbrough eye additions

Middlesbrough are keen on a raid of Aston Villa – with James Chester on Jonathan Woodgate’s radar.

Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 4:45 pm
James Chester
James Chester

That’s according to the Birmingham Mail, who claim that Boro are keen on the out-of-favour centre back.

Chester has struggled for opportunities at Villa Park this term and could be allowed to leave this month, with Dean Smith looking to strengthen his squad in a bid to remain in the Premier League.

Chester, who came through the youth ranks at Manchester United, brings a host of second tier experience and the report claims that Woodgate sees this an attractive quality given the youthful nature of his side.

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Boro have already added Patrick Roberts and Lukas Nmecha to their side this month, and have the scope to add further loan players to their squad during the window.

And with ongoing uncertainty over the future of Daniel Ayala – whose contract expires this summer – a move for Chester may fit the bill.

Meanwhile, Championship rivals Fulham have been linked with a swoop for Britt Assombalonga.

The DR Congo striker has been heavily linked with an exit this month as Boro continue to look to trim their wage bill, but Woodgate has been coy on rumours of an exit.

But reports now claim that the Cottagers are considering a move for Assombalonga after they lost Aleksandar Mitrovic to injury.

Scott Parker’s side are still in promotion contention, and are understood to be keen on strengthening their attacking outlook this month.