Boro step up Distin push
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Middlesbrough are still hoping to persuade Sylvain Distin to return to the North East.
Middlesbrough are still hoping to persuade Manchester City's Sylvain Distin to return to the North East.
Boro lodged their interest in Distin some weeks ago, but they are now keen to push ahead with a deal given their shortage of depth in central defence.
New boss Gareth Southgate insists that he will not play this season, whilst another prospective new signing Robert Huth is unlikely to play until October - although he is also reportedly being tracked by other clubs including Blackburn.
Ugo Ehiogu has also picked up an Achilles problem, meaning highly rated youngsters David Wheater, Matthew Bates and Andrew Davies would be next in line to partner Chris Riggott in central defence.
Southgate, though, wants an experienced stopper to provide competition and Distin is the man he wants.
The former Newcastle man has just one year left on his current contract and has thus far rebuffed City's offer of a new deal - which has not gone down well at Eastlands.
Now both Boro and Portsmouth are looking to seal moves - but Distin is unlikely to be rushed into a decision, although holding talks with other clubs may be a sign that he sees his future away from City.