Report: Middlesbrough in talks over potential player-swap deal involving Rafael and Agazzi

Middlesbrough have been linked with Hellas Verona goalkeeper Rafael de Andrade.

According to a report by Gianluca di Marzio, Middlesbrough and Hellas Verona are in talks over a potential player-swap deal involving goalkeepers Michael Agazzi and Rafael de Andrade.

The Riverside outfit secured a season-long loan deal for Agazzi last summer, the Italian shot-stopper moving to the Championship leaders from Serie A giants AC Milan.

However, a lack of first-team opportunities has prompted speculation of a potential loan cancellation and return to Italy with fellow Serie A side Hellas Verona interested.

With Boro seemingly keen to have at least one experienced back-up to number one Dimitri Konstantopoulos, talks have begun with Verona over a swap-deal involving their number two Rafael.

“Verona and Middlesbrough have been talking of a possible Rafael-Agazzi swap deal. The deal seemed to be nearing a conclusion days ago but things stalled. Now both clubs have started to talk again,” Di Marzio's report reads.

Rafael joined Verona in the summer of 2007 and was the club’s number one goalkeeper before losing his place during the winter break of the previous campaign.

The 33-year-old has an abundance of top-flight experience in Italy and is still a very able goalkeeper, despite having not featured at all in the league so far this season.

The 6ft custodian is Brazilian-born but holds an Italian passport, allowing him to move freely on the continent and possibly join up with Aitor Karanka’s men later this month.

Boro look well set for promotion after extending their lead at the top of the Championship to four points with a win over Derby County on Saturday, and assuring they have quality in reserve in all areas should help push them over the line.

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