Middlesbrough FC transfer rumours: Sheffield United plan Celtic and Boro swoop as Stoke City beat Championship rivals in centre-back race

Middlesbrough have been linked with several players in the last few weeks, but are yet to complete their first senior signing of the summer.

By Joe Nicholson
Wednesday, 26 June, 2019, 06:00
Northern Ireland international Paddy McNair has struggled for game time since his move to Middlesbrough in 2018.

Here are the latest Boro-related transfer stories to emerge this week:

Sheffield United plan Boro and Celtic swoop – The Blades haven’t signed a single player since their promotion to the Premier League last season, despite having a reported £20million to spend.

But according to the Sun, United are ‘ready to kick-start their summer spending’ with moves for Celtic winger Scott Sinclair and Boro midfielder Paddy McNair.

It has been reported that Sinclair, 30, will be allowed to leave the Scottish champions for around £2million, after he was linked with Boro back in January.

McNair, meanwhile, has struggled for game time since his reported £5million move to the Riverside from Sunderland a year ago.

Reported Boro target joins Stoke – With Boro significantly short in other areas, a new centre-back probably isn’t at the top of Jonathan Woodgate’s shopping list.

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Even so, Boro were one of the many clubs, along with Derby, West Brom and Brentford, who were linked with Barnsley defender Liam Lindsay earlier this month, following the Tykes’ promotion from League One.

But despite the report, Lindsay, 23, has decided to join fellow Championship side Stoke City in a joint £2million deal from Barnsley, alongside goalkeeper Adam Davies.

At the same time, Stoke also confirmed the signings of midfielders Jordan Cousins and Nick Powell, as well as striker Lee Gregory on free transfers.

Sheffield United won’t pay over the odds for Luke Freeman – Earlier this week it looked like Chris Wilder’s side were closing in on a deal for QPR playmaker Luke Freeman – a player who has been heavily linked with Boro in the past.

But according to the Mirror, United ‘had a £4million offer for Freeman rejected by Rangers’ and ‘will not be held to ransom’ over the former Arsenal trainee.

Freeman, 27, scored eight goals and made six assists in the Championship last season and has been a regular starter since his move to Loftus Road in 2017.