Kevin McDonald has barely featured in the Premier League under Claudio Ranieri and could reportedly join Championship hopefuls Boro.

You have to feel for Kevin McDonald.

One of the star players as Fulham sealed a return to the Premier League last season via a play-off final win at Wembley, the Scottish midfielder suddenly finds himself well down the pecking order at Craven Cottage thanks in part to a number of big-money summer signings.

And he has found life tough under Claudio Ranieri, who clearly doesn’t share Slavisa Jokanovic’s admiration for his composed and combative style in the centre of the park.

As a result, The Sun (16 January, page 53) reports that McDonald could be on his way this month with Middlesbrough keen to offer the 30-year-old a lifeline.

Tony Pulis’ Boro are fifth in the Championship table and obviously feel that the former Burnley, Sheffield United and Wolves man can boost their hopes of promotion. He certainly has an impressive track record in the second tier.

It is understood that Middlesbrough would sign McDonald on loan with a view to a permanent move.

Fortunately for Pulis, Sky point out that Fulham are willing to let the five-cap international leave on a short-term basis though the report claims that a number of Championship sides are monitoring the situation.

In other news, 'It's in his hands': Arteta delivers his verdict on 10-assist star after Southampton display