Southgate expects Alves arrival

Image: Southgate: Transfer saga

Gareth Southgate is confident Afonso Alves would welcome a move to Middlesbrough.

Middlesbrough expects Brazilian to move to the Riverside

Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate is confident Afonso Alves would welcome a move to the Riverside, but admits negotiations are ongoing. Boro have been chasing the striker for the majority of the January transfer window but the Premier League side have failed to come to an agreement with his club Heerenveen. Southgate is confident that Alves is keen on a move to England after the Brazilian recently visited Teesside but the Boro boss stresses a big-money move is far from complete. "We've spoken with the club and the player but everything at the moment is a bit up in the air," Southgate told Boro's official website.

Trouble

"He's gone to the trouble of coming here and the vibes are that he wants to come. The chances are pretty good, but the timescale I can't give you. "What we've got to do is to negotiate with Heerenveen. He's on the open market so we can negotiate with them and go from there. "If we can do it, it will give everyone a big lift. It shows ambition that's there from the chairman (Steve Gibson). It's a significant signal from him." And Southgate has revealed that the two clubs have yet to agree a fee for Alves, who signed a contract with AZ before the Dutch FA (KNVB) ruled the Alkmaar club could not force Heerenveen to sell.
Emphatic
"Most of the parties are willing to do it but we have to agree a fee and it's not straightforward - unless we agree to their fee," Southgate added. "I don't want to spend money over and above what we can afford. "His goalscoring record at Heerenveen is emphatic and he had a good record in Sweden before that. He is a goalscorer. Adapting to the Premier League is the challenge." Meanwhile, Southgate insists he will not be forced into allowing Jonathan Woodgate and Stewart Downing to leave Boro, despite the pair being strongly linked with moves to Tottenham. "I'm in a position where I don't have to sell," explained Southgate. "If we do move players on it will be because it's right for the club."

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