Report: Espanyol target replacement as Boro close in on Christian Stuani

Middlesbrough Riverside Stadium gates

Middlesbrough are reported to be closing in on a deal to sign Christian Stuani.

According to the latest reports by Diario Sport, Espanyol have targeted Benfica’s Jonathan Rodriguez as fellow attacker Christian Stuani nears a move to Middlesbrough.

The Championship side are looking to bolster their attacking ranks this summer following the departures of last season’s loan duo Patrick Bamford and Jelle Vossen.

Boss Aitor Karanka knows the Spanish market well, having signed Kike from Murcia last summer, and Diario Sport reported in midweek how Boro intend to sign Espanyol’s Stuani this time around.

The Spanish paper stated that the Riverside outfit had lodged a bid in the region of £2.9 million, and their chances of signing him now appear high with fresh reports claiming a replacement has been targeted.

“Espanyol have now thought of replacing Christian Stuani and have targeted Jonathan Rodriguez on loan. An operation that would result in Stuani leaving, as he edges closer to a Boro switch,” reports say.

The ideal attacker for Middlesbrough?

Stuani is comfortable playing in a variety of roles in the final third, but standing at 6ft 1inch, perhaps Aitor Karanka sees him as the ideal centre-forward for fellow striker Kike to play off.

The 28-year-old has plenty of experience, and his quality is evident having been selected for the Uruguayan national team on a number of occasions and in the biggest of encounters.

Karanka’s side are among the favourites for the Championship title this coming season, and signings such as Stuani will be ideal in helping them overcome their play-off heartache from 2014/15 and go one better.

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