Having brought defender Kenneth Omeruo back to Teesside on a season-long loan, Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka is hoping to secure the long-term services of another Chelsea prospect.
After serving as Jose Mourinho’s assistant at Real Madrid for three seasons, Karanka has used his close relationship with the Blues boss to Boro’s advantage thus far, bringing back the Nigerian international for a second spell with the club, and now lining up a permanent move for midfielder George Saville.
While highly-rated within the Chelsea setup for some time, the 21-year-old is well down the pecking order in the club’s star-studded squad, spending last season out on loan at Brentford, where he made 40 appearances to help the side achieve promotion to the Championship.
Developed through the club’s academy, a host of other second-tier sides are reportedly keen to bring Saville on board, including Wolves and Wigan Athletic, but Karanka’s links to Mourinho are said to have put Boro in the driving seat.
Entering the final year of his contract, the youngster’s future prospects at Stamford Bridge appear bleak at present but, having proved his Football League credentials with the Bees last season, the step up to a higher level would be the next practical step for his career.