Middlesbrough transfer news: Boro ‘line up’ move for Sunderland star and handed boost in pursuit of Rotherham United midfielder

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Middlesbrough are reportedly targeting moves for two stars of the Championship in January.

Here, we round-up all the latest news from the Riverside and beyond:

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Rotherham United delivered Dan Barlaser blow amid Middlesbrough interest

Middlesbrough are reportedly 'lining up' a move for Sunderland striker Ross Stewart  (Picture by FRANK REID)Middlesbrough are reportedly 'lining up' a move for Sunderland striker Ross Stewart  (Picture by FRANK REID)
Middlesbrough are reportedly 'lining up' a move for Sunderland striker Ross Stewart (Picture by FRANK REID)

Middlesbrough have been handed a boost in their pursuit of signing Rotherham United midfielder Dan Barlaser with reports from the Northern Echo suggesting that hopes of the midfielder signing a new deal at the club are ‘receding’. Barlaser’s contract at the AESSEAL New York Stadium expires at the end of the season, meaning Boro could sign the 25 year old on a free transfer in summer.

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To prevent that, the Millers could be forced into selling Barlaser in January in order to receive a fee for the former Newcastle United man. Michael Carrick reportedly sees Barlaser as a ‘long-term’ option in midfield that could help bridge the gap between his experienced options and their future prospects.

Middlesbrough ‘lining up’ Ross Stewart move

Elsewhere, the same report states that Boro are ‘lining up’ an approach for Ross Stewart in January. Stewart has just a few months left on his contract at the Stadium of Light, but unlike Barlaser, the club do have an option to extend this for another year. Speaking at a supporter collective meeting, sporting director Kristjaan Speakman reiterated his desire to see the striker stay on Wearside, despite interest from Boro and from north of the border.

Martin O’Neill’s Sunderland Champions League belief

Former Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill believes that Sunderland could be a Champions League club in the future. Speaking to Chronicle Live, O’Neill believes that if his former side can harness the support from the crowd in the right way, then the dream of playing in Europe is a possibility.

O’Neill said: "For a team that can go from 16,000 people to 47,000 almost overnight shows you there is a heart about the football club that will always exist. Even watching the other afternoon, when they beat Millwall, you see the crowd at the game.

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"It's just waiting. One of these decades, Sunderland is going to be playing in the Champions League. It might not be in my lifetime, but it will be something that I genuinely believe Sunderland fans deserve."