Reported Leeds, West Brom and Stoke target was already on Middlesbrough's radar before January transfer window
Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate says the club have been tracking new signing Harold Moukoudi for some time.
The 22-year-old centre-back joined Boro on loan from St Etienne on transfer deadline day and could make his debut for the Teessiders at Brentford this weekend.
At 6’3, Moukoudi is certainly an imposing figure, and Woodgate says the defender has plenty of other qualities too.
Boro’s Championship rivals Leeds, Stoke and West Brom were also linked with the Cameroon international, who admitted there were other offers last month.
When asked about the competition for the Moukoudi, Woodgate said: “We did, we had to do a lot of work on him. Harold is a really strong individual, in fact he’s massive. He’s a real big boy, the same size as Rudy (Gestede), wider than Rudy.
“He can play, he’s quick, he’s good in the air so let’s see.”
Moukoudi played against Boro for St Etienne during a pre-season friendly at the Riverside in July, yet Woodgate says the defender was already on the club’s radar.
“We noticed him then but there are previous years that our recruitment team have been watching different players and there have always been positive reports on him,” added Woodgate.
“He was a free transfer last season from Le Havre and went to St Etienne, his father didn’t want him to come out of France at that point so it was difficult to get him.
“When he became available on loan it was important that we got him.”