Mac tempted by Boro offer
By Riccardo Burgalassi & Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
ITALIAN ace Massimo Maccarone has revealed that he is tempted by an offer to join Premiership Middlesbrough.
The 22-year-old has scored 24 goals in 68 league games for Empoli over the two previous seasons and helped them gain promotion last season.
It was presumed that a move to one of Serie A's elite would follow this summer, but instead a host of English clubs including Manchester City, Chelsea, Birmingham and Boro made bids.
Middlesbrough have now agreed a é¼13 million (£8.3 million) deal with Empoli and look to have pulled of a major coup in beating the other English sides to the youngster.
The starlet has admitted that he is seriously considering Boro's offer.
"From an economic point of view there are no problems," said Maccarone on Tuesday.
"I will go there [Middlesbrough] on Thursday and I will make contact with the city and team, then I will make my decision.
"I know the manager and he is assistant to Eriksson in the national team.
"At the moment he is in Japan, but he has asked the former Lazio trainer about me and he has told him good things about me. This sort of thing fills me with great pride and pleasure.
"Sure the offer of Middlesbrough appeals to me. They are an ambitious club that are trying to become a main fixture in England and Europe.
"This season they hope to make it to Europe and we hope, that if I accept the offer, this objective could be achieved."
Boro have suddenly emerged as leading candidates to land the Italian star and now Empoli sporting director Pino Vitale has stated that his most prized asset was on his way to Teesside.
"I can confirm that Maccarone is a Middlesbrough player," he told planetfootball.com. "That is for sure.
"He will go to England on Thursday and he will meet with their management.
"This year Middlesbrough failed to get into the Uefa Cup, but it is trying hard and they will try hard again for success next season.
"For us it is done, it now passes to Maccarone, but we hope the transfer will go through." Vitali concluded.
The player himself has admitted that Boro's offer is tempting
"From an economic point of view there are no problems," said Maccarone.
"I will go there [Middlesbrough] on Thursday and I will make contact with the city and team, then I will make my decision."
However, despite Empoli's insistence - Italian transfers are never straight forward and the youngster will be available to any other clubs until the very minute he pens a deal with any club - be it Middlesbrough or not.
Click here for our earlier story on Maccarone