Report: Middlesbrough distance themselves from ex-Arsenal midfielder

The Gazette reports that Championship side Middlesbrough have distanced themselves from talk of interest in former Arsenal man Fran Merida.

The Gazette reports that Middlesbrough have attempted to play down talk of an imminent deal for former Arsenal midfielder Fran Merida. had claimed that the 24-year-old had spent time with the Championship side as he seeks a return to English football.

Merida is available as a free agent having parted company with Brazilian outfit Atletico Paranense.

The best part of five years have passed since he was on the books at Emirates Stadium, with a 2010 move taking him away from the Gunners and back to his native Spain at Atletico Madrid.

Spells in Portugal, on loan at Braga, and in South America have followed, with the former Spain U21 international struggling to put down roots.

He is a player well known to the Boro boss Aitor Karanka, as he has previously spent time coaching in the Spanish youth system.

Merida has also played alongside Tomas Mejias, Emilio Nsue and Kike Garcia in the past, so would have familiar faces to help him settle on Teesside.

The Gazette have, however, been told by a 'senior figure' at the second-tier club that ‘nothing will be happening with regard to a contract offer’.

That would appear to leave Merida looking elsewhere for employment, with it important for him to find something quickly after six months out of the game.

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