Report: Middlesbrough in talks for La Liga defender

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Middlesbrough have an advantage of Everton and Watford in the race for a Spanish defender, according to reports.

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According to The Mail, newly-promoted Premier League outfit Middlesbrough are in talks with La Liga side Sporting Gijon over signing defender Bernardo Espinosa.

The 23-year-old centre-back is out of contract with the Spanish side this summer and Boro are said to be closing in on a Bosman deal.

The Mail has suggested that Espinosa is leaning toward a switch to the Riverside given he and Boro boss Aitor Karanka are both Spanish.

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It goes on to claim that Everton and Watford have followed Espinosa and how Bournemouth have offered him a deal.

But Karanka, who led his troops to automatic promotion from the Championship this past season, looks set to win the race for Espinosa.

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English football, and indeed the Premier League, is noted for its intensity and physical element, but at 6'3 Espinosa should have little problem coping with the latter, if he joins a Premier League club.

The towering centre-back is obviously a major physical presence, but the deal might be delayed as a result of an injury which is expected to sideline him until August at the earliest, having been absent for Gijon since January.

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