Boro close in on Alves deal
Sky Sports News understands Boro have agreed personal terms with Heerenveen striker Afonso Alves.
Last Updated: 25/01/08 4:55pm
Sky Sports News understands Middlesbrough have agreed personal terms with Heerenveen striker Afonso Alves.
The Brazilian is Gareth Southgate's top January transfer target, although the Boro boss has had to be patient in his attempts to sign the prolific hit-man.
Alves signed a contract with AZ, with the Alkmaar club taking the case to the Dutch FA (KNVB) in an attempt to force Heerenveen to sell.
The KNVB ruled against AZ, paving the way for Boro to press on with their interest in the 26-year-old, and it now appears a deal is close.
It is understood the player has accepted a contract at the Riverside and Boro are thrashing out a fee in the region of £10million with Heerenveen.
Prior to the latest development, Southgate confirmed he was trying to make progress in his pursuit of Alves.
"As far as I am aware, there has been a ruling in Holland that he is not an Alkmaar player signed and sealed, so he is a player who is available on the transfer market," said Southgate.
"He is one of a few we are making enquiries about and if we make progress, we will let everybody know."
Alves' compatriot Fred is another target for Boro, although Southgate accepts it will be more difficult to sign the Lyon striker, who is set to stay with the French champions.
Southgate added: "He is one of the players we are looking at.
"Most deals seem very complicated, that seems one of the most complicated, so it is probably unlikely, if I am to be honest."