Does Gareth Southgate have another season of struggle on his hands? It remains to be seen, although he’s close to seeing another top-drawer midfielder leave the Riverside and join one of Middlesbrough’s Premier League rivals.
The Daily Mail report that Boro have agreed a fee with Wigan for Lee Cattermole, with a deal close to completion for the tough-tackling player. With George Boateng also having jumped ship to Hull, does that leave a gaping chasm in the middle of the park?
Boro manager Gareth Southgate told the club’s official website, www.mfc.co.uk: ‘We have had a revised offer from Wigan and we felt that he was probably not in the right frame of mind to play.
‘It’s not a done deal, but the offer gives us something to consider and we thought for all parties it was best for him not to play.
‘It’s not agreed, but it’s pretty close to what we are looking for. He is still our player and with us on the trip, but something could happen in the next 24 hours.’
It was rumoured last season that Liverpool were in the hunt for Catts, although they ended up signing Javier Mascherano on a permanent basis instead. Steve Bruce is clearly showing his intent, with this kind of signing, with the midfielder one of the best players for Middlesbrough in the past couple of season. Boro fans, are you worried ahead of next season?