Middlesbrough close in on midfielder target plus Aston Villa, Chelsea and Arsenal linked with shock move

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Middlesbrough are preparing to face non-league side Tavistock AFC – while manager Neil Warnock is still looking to make more signings ahead of the 2021/22 season.

Here are some of the latest Boro-related news stories from around the web.

Boro close in on midfield target

After missing out on a deal to sign Luton midfielder Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu, Boro now appear to be closing in on the signing of Rotherham’s Matt Crooks.

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Matt Crooks playing for Rotherham.Matt Crooks playing for Rotherham.
Matt Crooks playing for Rotherham.

Sunderland and Ipswich were also said to be interested in the 27-year-old, yet Millers boss Paul Warne was reluctant to sell to a League One rival.

When asked about Crooks following Boro’s 2-1 win over Saltash United, Warnock said: "We’re quite close at the minute to getting a couple over the line this week.

"Crooks is one we’ve been talking about, but there’s a couple more we’ve been talking about too."

Ipswich leading race for Hayden Coulson

Warnock has also admitted some players could leave the Riverside this summer.

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Left-back Hayden Coulson has been linked with a loan move away from the Riverside, with Ipswich, Sunderland and Luton reportedly interested.

According to TeamTalk, Ipswich are now on the verge of signing the 23-year-old, yet it’s not stated if that would be a permanent or loan deal.

Coulson made just six Championship starts for Boro last season and has fallen down the pecking order at the Riverside.

Ex-Boro keeper linked with shock move

Finally, former Boro goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli is reportedly being considered by several Premier League clubs.

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The 29-year-old, who was on loan at the Riverside last season, is a free agent after his contract at Fulham expired in June.

According to the Daily Mail, Aston Villa have made a move for Bettinelli, with Villa boss Dean Smith wanting a new goalkeeper to compete with No 1 Emi Martinez and back-up stopper Jed Steer.

The same report claims Chelsea and Arsenal are among the clubs also tracking Bettinelli, as they look to sign an additional back-up option between the sticks.

Birmingham have also been credited with interest in the player who made 41 Championship appearances for Boro last season but wasn’t considered a target on Teesside this summer.

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